Arithmetic Judgements, First-Person Judgements and Immunity to Error Through Misidentification
The paper explores the idea that some singular judgements about the natural numbers are immune to error through misidentification by pursuing a comparison between arithmetic judgements and first-person judgements. By doing so, the first part of the paper offers a conciliatory resolution of the Coliva-Pryor dispute about so-called “de re” and “which-object” misidentification. The second part of the paper draws some lessons about what it takes to explain immunity to error through misidentification. The lessons are: First, the so-called Simple Account (see Wright 2012) of which-object immunity to error through misidentification to the effect that a judgement is immune to this kind of error just in case its grounds do not feature any identification component fails. Secondly, wh-immunity can be explained by a Reference-Fixing Account to the effect that a judgement is immune to this kind of error just in case its grounds are constituted by the facts whereby the reference of the concept of the object which the judgement concerns is fixed. Thirdly, a suitable revision of the Simple Account explains the de re immunity of those arithmetic judgements which are not wh-immune. These three lessons point towards the general conclusion that there is no unifying explanation of de re and wh-immunity.
I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) under grant agreement #FFI2016–80588-R, the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement H2020-MSCA-ITN-2015-675415, the Juan de la Cierva and Beatriu de Pinós postdoctoral fellowship programmes (under grant agreements FCJI-2014-20227 and 2016BP00142), and a visiting fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust-funded project “What’s So Special about First-Person Thought?”. I wish to thank an audience at the 2017 ESPP conference in Hatfield for discussion of various parts of this material. Special thanks are due to Daniel Morgan and two anonymous referees for this journal, whose terrific comments have greatly improved the arguments of this paper. Finally, I am grateful to the members of the 2016 De Se and Immunity to Error Through Misidentification LOGOS Reading Group for stimulating and enjoyable discussions of the topics of this paper.
- Chalmers, D. 2006. Two-dimensional semantics. In Oxford handbook of the philosophy of language, ed. E. Lepore and B. Smith. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Evans, G. 1982. The varieties of reference. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
- García-Carpintero, M. (2015) “De Se thoughts and immunity to error through misidentification”, Synthese online first, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-015-0917-y.
- Guillot, M. 2014. Identification-free at last. Semantic relativism, Evans’s legacy and a unified approach to immunity to error through misidentification. Teorema 33 (3): 7–30.Google Scholar
- McDowell, J. (1998) “Reductionism and the First Person”, in Mind, Value and Reality (pp. 359–82), Cambridge Mass. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Morgan, D. (2012) “Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: What Does It Tell Us About the De Se?”. In Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: New Essays, eds. S. Prosser, S. and Recanati, F., 104–123. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
- Recanati, F. (2012) “Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: What it Is and Where it Comes From”. In Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: New Essays, eds. Prosser, S. and Recanati, F., 180–201. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
- Wittgenstein, L. 1958. The blue and Brown books. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
- Wright, C. 1998. Self-knowledge: The Wittgensteinian legacy. In Knowing our own minds, ed. C. Wright, B.C. Smith, and C. Macdonald, 13–45. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
- Wright, C. (2012) “Reflections on François Recanati’s ‘Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: What It Is and Where It Comes From”. In Immunity to Error Through Misidentification: New Essays, Prosser, S. and Recanati, F., 247–280. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar