Frege thought that words usually denote their reference and express their sense. However, when expressions are embedded under attitude verbs such as „believe“ or „fear“, Frege thought that expressions denote what is usually their sense. But what do words express when they are embedded under an attitude verb? Their normal sense, or some second-order sense? And what happens in multiply embedded environments such as “Sara believes that Fred thinks that …”? In my talk, I will consider these questions from a historical and systematic perspective. In particular, I want to consider how they relate to Mates’ puzzle: Assuming that ‘drink’ and ‘beverage’ are synonymous, how can it be that ‘Peter thinks that some drinks aren’t beverages’ seems to mean something else than ‘Peter thinks that some drinks aren’t drinks’?
Ockham Society Convenor: Sean Costello | Ockham Society Webpage