[lit-ideas] Re: The Proposition and the Attitude

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 18:30:06 -0500 (EST)

In a message dated 12/5/2013 12:50:43  P.M. Eastern Standard Time, 
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
That may be  because he's busy yelling "Look what you started" at Pierre.  

On the other hand (usually the right one), we don't know what Pierre's  
_attitude_ is.
In "Puzzling Pierre" (I think the title is), S. A. Kripke considers:
i. Pierre believes that London is ugly.
ii. Pierre believes that Londres is pretty.
Edited from
Kripke's main propositions in "Naming and Necessity" concerning proper  
names are that the meaning of a name simply is the object it refers to and that 
 a name's referent is determined by a causal link between some sort of 
"baptism"  and the utterance of the name. 
Nevertheless Kripke acknowledges the possibility that propositions  
containing names may have some additional semantic properties, properties that  
could explain why two names referring to the same person may give different  
truth values in propositions about beliefs. 
Kripke's example: 
Lois Lane believes that Superman can fly, although she does not believe  
that Clark Kent can fly. 
This can be accounted for if the names "Superman" and "Clark Kent", though  
referring to the same person, have distinct semantic properties.
Kripke seems to oppose even this possibility. 
Kripke's argument can be reconstructed in the following way.
The idea that two names referring to the same object may have different  
semantic properties is supposed to explain that co-referring names behave  
differently in propositions about beliefs (as in Lois Lane's case). 
But the same phenomenon occurs even with co-referring names that obviously  
have the same semantic properties:
Kripke invites us to imagine a French, monolingual boy, Pierre, who  
believes the following: 
i. Londres est joli.
ib. London is beautiful.
Then, Pierre moves to London without realizing that 
London = Londres. 
Pierre then, not without some difficulty, learns enough English the  same 
way a child would learn the language, that is, not by translating words  from 
French to English. 
Pierre learns the name "London" from what he thinks is the  unattractive 
part of the city in which he lives, so he comes to believe that  London is not 
beautiful, and he says it:
ii. London is not beautiful.
If Kripke's account is correct, Pierre now believes both that "Londres" is  
"joli" and that "London" is not beautiful. 
This cannot be explained by co-referring names having different semantic  
According to Kripke, this demonstrates that attributing additional semantic 
 properties to names does not explain what it is intended to.
Or not, of course.


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