[FOM] Simmons' denotation paradoxes

Hartley Slater slaterbh at cyllene.uwa.edu.au
Tue Mar 4 20:25:27 EST 2003

Sandy Hodges (FOM Digest Vol 3, issue 3) 'is a bit surprised' if I am 
willing to assert his (22) but think his (11) does not follow.  He 
goes on 'Naturally, if there is a distinction which makes (22) a 
correct assertion about the situation, while (11) is not, then I will 
just rephrase the example once again...'  But in my last posting (FOM 
Digest Vol 3 issue 2) I explained why (11) does not follow, so Hodges 
should address the issues I raised then.  I will repeat them:

Given not both (2) and (4) can be attributive when this is not 
through choice, there are several remaining alternatives, including 
just one being attributive when this is not though choice, both being 
attributive when this is through choice, and both being 
non-attributive.  So (4) being attributive through choice does not 

Hodges seems to believe there is something the epsilon calculus 
(which would allow (4) to have a referent in all these cases) cannot 
handle about the situation.  Is that because he thinks there is 
invariably a choice about the referent of an epsilon term (so that 
necessarily there is always a choice about what (4) refers to, and 
so, if the case is that it refers attributively it must do so by 
choice)?  But the referent of an epsilon term is not always a matter 
of choice: an elementary counter-example is 'ex(x=a)'.

Barry Hartley Slater
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Philosophy, School of Humanities
University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley WA 6009, Australia
Ph: (08) 9380 1246 (W), 9386 4812 (H)
Fax: (08) 9380 1057
Url: http://www.arts.uwa.edu.au/PhilosWWW/Staff/slater.html

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