[hist-analytic] Reichenbach, Carnap, Positivism

Danny Frederick danny.frederick at btinternet.com
Sun Oct 18 15:24:32 EDT 2009


Hi Steve,

 

 

<<The performative component of the argument, I think, rules out its being
false if enunciated by the subject of the sentence>>

 

 

Suppose a simple machine utters it. Presumably, 'I think' is then false (not
an I, not a thinker).

 

But how do I know that I do not fail to satisfy the conditions for being an
I? One condition is some minimal endurance through time; but perhaps I am
really just an infinite succession of momentary quasi-Is (this is one of
Kant's arguments in the Paralogisms).

 

 

<<For example, if 'a=b' then why not, where, the designators are rigid, say
'Nec(Ex)(x=b)'?>>

 

 

Even where 'a' and 'b' are rigid designators of the same thing, 'a = b' is a
contingent truth if a is a contingent existent. What is necessary is that:
if a exists, then a = b. Kripke is explicit about this, though he usually
suppresses the qualification about existence and talks of 'a = b' being
necessary if true.

 

Of course, if a is a necessary existent, then a = b is a necessary truth
simpliciter, and thus 'Ex (x = a)' is a necessary truth too. But this latter
is trivial given that we have supposed that a is a necessary existent.

 

 

<<There are a few other things on the way for the data base, soon. In view
of Danny's interest, maybe Hintikka's paper on the subject>>

 

 

I've not read it since I was an undergrad. I would be pleased to see it
again.

 

Best wishes,

 

Danny

 



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