, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 629-634

Marti on Descriptions in Carnap'S S2

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Abstract

This note is a friendly amendment to Marti’s analysis of the failure of Føllesdal’s argument that modal distinctions collapse in Carnap’s logic S2. Føllesdal’s argument turns on the treatment of descriptions. Marti considers how modal descriptions, which Carnap banned, might be handled; she adopts an approach which blocks Føllesdal’s argument, but requires a separate treatment of non-modal descriptions. I point out that a more general treatment of descriptions in S2 is possible, and indeed is implicit in Marti’s informal discussion, and that this treatment also blocks Føllesdal’s argument. Further, I show by a semantic argument that no revised version of Føllesdal’s argument could establish a collapse of modal distinctions.