Soames’s argument 1 against strong two-dimensionalism

Philosophical Studies 161 (3):403-420 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper criticizes Soames’s main argument against a variant of two-dimensionalism that he calls strong two-dimensionalism. The idea of Soames’s argument is to show that the strong two-dimensionalist’s semantics for belief ascriptions delivers wrong semantic verdicts about certain complex modal sentences that contain both such ascriptions and claims about the truth of the ascribed beliefs. A closer look at the formal semantics underlying strong two-dimensionalism reveals that there are two feasible ways of specifying the truth conditions for claims of the latter sort. Only one of the two yields the problematic semantic verdicts, so strong two-dimensionalists can avoid Soames’s argument by settling for the other way.

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Robert Michels
Universidade de Lisboa