Substitution in a sense

Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3069-3098 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The Reference Principle states that co-referring expressions are everywhere intersubstitutable salva congruitate. On first glance, looks like a truism, but a truism with some bite: transforms difficult philosophical questions about co-reference into easy grammatical questions about substitutability. This has led a number of philosophers to think that we can use to make short work of certain longstanding metaphysical debates. For example, it has been suggested that all we need to do to show that the predicate ‘ is a horse’ does not refer to a property is point out that ‘ is a horse’ and ‘the property of being a horse’ are not everywhere intersubstitutable salva congruitate. However, when we understand ‘substitution’ in the simplest and most straightforward way, is no truism; in fact, natural languages are full of counterexamples to the principle. In this paper, I introduce a new notion of substitution, and then develop and argue for a version of that is immune to these counterexamples. Along the way I touch on the following topics: the relation between argument forms and their natural language instances; the reification of sense; the difference between terms and predicates; and the relation between reference and disquotation. I end by arguing that my new version of cannot be used to settle metaphysical debates quite as easily as some philosophers would like.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,745

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Impure reference: A way around the concept horse paradox.Fraser MacBride - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):297-312.
The reference principle: A defence.David Dolby - 2009 - Analysis 69 (2):286-296.
"That"-clauses and propositional anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2861-2875.
The concept horse with no name.Robert Trueman - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1889-1906.
The importance of 'being earnest'.Benjamin Schnieder - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):40-55.
Naming the concept horse.Michael Price - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2727-2743.


Added to PP

60 (#92,080)

6 months
4 (#1,635,958)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Robert Trueman
University of York

Citations of this work

Hopes, Fears, and Other Grammatical Scarecrows.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (1):63-105.
A Higher-Order Solution to the Problem of the Concept Horse.Nicholas K. Jones - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
"That"-clauses and propositional anaphors.Peter van Elswyk - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2861-2875.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Semantics in generative grammar.Irene Heim & Angelika Kratzer - 1998 - Malden, MA: Blackwell. Edited by Angelika Kratzer.
On sense and reference.Gottlob Frege - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing about language. New York: Routledge. pp. 36--56.
The things we mean.Stephen R. Schiffer - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Objects of thought.Arthur Norman Prior - 1971 - Oxford,: Clarendon Press. Edited by P. T. Geach & Anthony Kenny.

View all 41 references / Add more references