Philosophical Studies

, Volume 154, Issue 1, pp 53–78 | Cite as

Is there a fact of the matter between direct reference theory and (neo-)Fregeanism?



It is argued here that there is no fact of the matter between direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism. To get a more precise idea of the central thesis of this paper, consider the following two claims: (i) While direct reference theory and neo-Fregeanism can be developed in numerous ways, they can be developed in essentially parallel ways; that is, for any (plausible) way of developing direct reference theory, there is an essentially parallel way of developing neo-Fregeanism, and vice versa. And (ii) for each such pair of theories, there is no fact of the matter as to which of them is superior; or more precisely, they are tied in terms of factual accuracy. These are sweeping claims that cannot be fully justified in a single paper. But arguments are given here that motivate these theses, i.e., that suggest that they are very likely true.


Direct reference theory Neo-Fregeanism Factual emptiness Facts of the matter Belief reports Propositions 



I would like to thank Stephen Schiffer, David Pitt, Ed Becker, and Liz Harman for commenting on earlier versions of this paper.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State University, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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