[FOM] Re: "Leibniz's Law"

Dean Buckner Dean.Buckner at btopenworld.com
Sun Jun 8 12:48:13 EDT 2003


> > I meant
> >     (x) (y) [R(a, x) & x=y --> R(a,y) ]

Richar (Heck)
> That depends upon whether you mean it schematically, or whether you mean
> "R" to be a higher-order variable.

What does "mean it schematically" actually mean?  I suppose it means,
"R(a,-)" stands in for a gappy sentence.  But there must still be a relation
between the gappy sentence, and the object named by the symbol which leaves
the gap.  How else do you explain the difference between "someone is bald"
and "Socrates is bald"?  You want some story like: the proper name picks out
an object (Socrates) such that when the gap is filled up by the name, then
the sentence is true iff Socrates is bald.  But then that's a relation.  The
name refers to the object, the name fills the sentence in the "right" way.
Unless you want to give any different account of reference?

> Even Scott Soames
> (say), who holds otherwise counter-intuitive views about substitution,
> does not hold this insane view, since even he would acknowledge that
> substitution fails in
> The Fridge was so-called because of his size
> (modified of course from Quine's original example).

Because it just means "The Fridge was called "the Fridge" because of his
size.  Soames & others would not give this account for "We all know that
Bacon wrote Macbeth".  If Bacon = Shakespeare, then that sentence is true,
even if we would all reply no to the question "Did Bacon write Macbeth?".
For the proposition that Bacon wrote Macbeth = the proposition that
Shakespeare wrote Macbeth, and if we know one, we know the other [1].

> Most people who work on this problem take themselves to be focused upon
> that-clauses in general, not on belief-reports in particular. Anyone who
> is familiar with the literature knows as much.

Show me an article that deals with that-clauses in reports about evidence
and the like.  Why is it called "literature"?

> ... the notion of
> "evidence", and so the notion of what the evidence supports, is an
> epistemological one. Evidence is always the evidence that someone has.

I agree with "evidence is always the evidence that someone has" - if
"someone" includes some institution like a library, or police archives or
something.  (Or in the case of "Evidence of weapons of mass destruction",
the files US & British intelligence services).  But why is it
epistemological?  Radiation supposedly left over from the Big Bang is
"evidence" for the creation of the Universe in a certain way.  But that is a
connection between one fact and another.  I suppose people have to be aware
of the evidence.  But then, is a proof of the irrationality of root_2, which
is also one fact supporting another, an epistemological notion?


[1] Soames, Scott (1987), "Direct Reference, Propositional Attitudes, and
Semantic Content," Philosophical Topics 15: 47-87.
Soames, Scott  (1988), "Substitutivity," in J. J. Thomson (ed.), On Being
and Saying: Essays in Honor of Richard Cartwright. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT

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