Rearming the Slingshot?
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Slingshot arguments aim to show that an allegedly non-extensional sentential connective—such as “necessarily (_)” or “the statement that Φ corresponds to the fact that (_)”—is, to the contrary, an extensional sentential connective. Stephen Neale (Mind 104 (416): 761-825, 1995, 2001) argues that a reformulation of Gödel’s slingshot puts pressure on us to adopt a particular view of definite descriptions. I formulate a revised version of the slingshot argument—one that relies on Kaplan’s notion of “dthat.” I aim to show that if Neale’s version of the slingshot argument is successful, then there is another slingshot available, parallel in structure to Neale’s, but independent of definite descriptions. So either (i) there is a version of the slingshot that succeeds independent of any particular theory of descriptions or else (ii) Neale’s slingshot was never threatening to begin with.
KeywordsSlingshots Collapsing arguments Facts Definite descriptions
Many thanks to Dorit Bar-On, Gemma Celestino, Bill Lycan, Adam Sennet, Keith Simmons, Sam Wheeler, several annonymous referees, and an audience at the Pacific APA 2013 for helpful comments and suggestions on earlier drafts.
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