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The 60 minute lecture is followed by a 10 minute break and a 30-60 minute discussion. The language of presentation is English or Hungarian.

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1 June (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Graeme Forbes
Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder
The Problem Of Factives For Sense Theories
Kripke's modal objections to "famous deeds" sense theories of names are effective against other kinds of sense theories as well, including "theory-laden" theories. According to the latter, the description that expresses the sense of a name embodies a theoretical account of reference. For example, if we endorse a historical chain account, then for the description that gives the reference of a  name "NN" we might suggest "the thing "NN" refers to in the mouths of the people from whom I acquired the name". But it's contingent that NN is the thing "NN" refers to in the mouths of the people from whom I acquired the name. NN could have been named "MM" while GF was named "NN".

Responses to the modal objections typically involve making modal contexts a kind of deviant case. One way of doing this, recently proposed by Gluer-Pagin and Pagin, involves employing "actually" operators in a new way, with the result that even famous deeds theories may be rescued from the modal objections. Another way involves distinguishing the dimension of meaning modal operators affect from the dimension other operators, especially epistemic ones, affect. It is then irrelevant that theory-laden descriptions are non-rigid designators in modal contexts, since it's the epistemic dimension of meaning that matters.

In this paper I argue that both these moves against Kripke's objections are refuted by "mixed" contexts involving factive verbs such as "know", "establish", "prove", etc. In mixed contexts there are both modal and epistemic operators, for instance, as in "possibly(Hesperus has a moon and someone establishes that Hesperus has no moon)". This statement appears to be contradictory, but I will attempt to show that these new responses to Kripke are committed to its truth, or to the truth of slightly different but equally problematic examples.

Draft of related paper: PDF