### Modal&Epistemic objections (comment paper)

Consider the folowing as presented in the Blog:

(11) If Twain exists, then Twain is the author of HF. (12) If the author of HF exists, then the author of HF is the author of HF.

Modal Objection (discussed in class)13. a. If descriptivism is correct, then (11) is synonymous with (expresses the same proposition as) (12).b. If (11) is synonymous with (12), then (11) is necessarily true iff (12) is.c. It’s not the case that (11) is necessarily true iff (12) is.d. Therefore, descriptivism is not correct.This objection denies (v).Epistemic Objection (discussed in class)14. a. If descriptivism is correct, then (11) is synonymous (expresses the same proposition as) (12).b. If (11) is synonymous with (12), then (11) is a priori iff (12) is.c. It’s not the case that (11) is a priori iff (12) is.d. Therefore, descriptivism is not correct.This objection denies (v).

As I see it, premise c may be attacked in either of these objections. Stipulation iii in the schema (S authoritatively associates P with N) throws a relativistic slant on the whole situation. 11 and 12 would have to be changed to:

(11*) If Twain exists, then Twain is the author of HF, by S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’

(12*) If the author of HF exists, then the author of HF is the author of HF, by S’s conception author of HF.

These shouldn’t present any real damage to the theory, since the sense of a name or definite description is what is meant to fix the referent anyway. It could even be argues that these additions are necessary, since we need to know in what sense the names are taken to examine the sentences. But now consider premise c of the objection: “It is not the case that 11* is necessary iff 12* is”. Let’s look at these sentences necessitated:

(11n) In any possible world, by S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’, if Twain exists then Twain is the author of HF.

(12n) In any possible world, by S’s conception of ‘author of HF’, if the author of HF exists, then the author of HF is the author of HF.

Considering S has authoritatively associates ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’, 11n will be true iff 12n is true (in each world considered, Twain is the author of HF). This would make 11* necessary iff 12* is necessary.

We can run a parallel argument for the epistemic objection. Keep 11* and 12* as they are. Consider the following:

(11a) It is evident upon contemplation that by S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’, if Twain exists then Twain is the author of HF.

(12a) It is evident upon contemplation that by S’s conception of ‘author of HF’, the author of HF is the author of HF.

As before, considering S authoritatively associates ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’ that 11a is true iff 12a is true. In 11a one does not need to investigate to know its truth, one merely has to know S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’. If that is not enough for a-priority, then 11a may be changed to 11a*:(11a*) It is evident upon contemplation that by S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’ being authoritatively associated, if Twain exists then Twain is the author of HF. However, I think 11a* may be seen as equivalent to 11a, since we must know the senses of each name in order to examine the sentence anyway. That is, if one authoritatively associates ‘Twain’ with ‘the author of HF’ then it is apparent upon contemplation that 11 is true.

(11) If Twain exists, then Twain is the author of HF. (12) If the author of HF exists, then the author of HF is the author of HF.

Modal Objection (discussed in class)13. a. If descriptivism is correct, then (11) is synonymous with (expresses the same proposition as) (12).b. If (11) is synonymous with (12), then (11) is necessarily true iff (12) is.c. It’s not the case that (11) is necessarily true iff (12) is.d. Therefore, descriptivism is not correct.This objection denies (v).Epistemic Objection (discussed in class)14. a. If descriptivism is correct, then (11) is synonymous (expresses the same proposition as) (12).b. If (11) is synonymous with (12), then (11) is a priori iff (12) is.c. It’s not the case that (11) is a priori iff (12) is.d. Therefore, descriptivism is not correct.This objection denies (v).

As I see it, premise c may be attacked in either of these objections. Stipulation iii in the schema (S authoritatively associates P with N) throws a relativistic slant on the whole situation. 11 and 12 would have to be changed to:

(11*) If Twain exists, then Twain is the author of HF, by S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’

(12*) If the author of HF exists, then the author of HF is the author of HF, by S’s conception author of HF.

These shouldn’t present any real damage to the theory, since the sense of a name or definite description is what is meant to fix the referent anyway. It could even be argues that these additions are necessary, since we need to know in what sense the names are taken to examine the sentences. But now consider premise c of the objection: “It is not the case that 11* is necessary iff 12* is”. Let’s look at these sentences necessitated:

(11n) In any possible world, by S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’, if Twain exists then Twain is the author of HF.

(12n) In any possible world, by S’s conception of ‘author of HF’, if the author of HF exists, then the author of HF is the author of HF.

Considering S has authoritatively associates ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’, 11n will be true iff 12n is true (in each world considered, Twain is the author of HF). This would make 11* necessary iff 12* is necessary.

We can run a parallel argument for the epistemic objection. Keep 11* and 12* as they are. Consider the following:

(11a) It is evident upon contemplation that by S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’, if Twain exists then Twain is the author of HF.

(12a) It is evident upon contemplation that by S’s conception of ‘author of HF’, the author of HF is the author of HF.

As before, considering S authoritatively associates ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’ that 11a is true iff 12a is true. In 11a one does not need to investigate to know its truth, one merely has to know S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’. If that is not enough for a-priority, then 11a may be changed to 11a*:(11a*) It is evident upon contemplation that by S’s conception of ‘Twain’ and ‘author of HF’ being authoritatively associated, if Twain exists then Twain is the author of HF. However, I think 11a* may be seen as equivalent to 11a, since we must know the senses of each name in order to examine the sentence anyway. That is, if one authoritatively associates ‘Twain’ with ‘the author of HF’ then it is apparent upon contemplation that 11 is true.

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