| Department of Philosophy,
University of Colorado, Boulder
| The Problem Of Factives For Sense Theories
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
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