Abstracts

David Liggins (Manchester): Unpropositional Attitudes
Let us call sentences of the form ‘X believes/says/denies/fears/… that p’ ‘attitude ascriptions’. The relational analysis of attitude ascriptions says they should be interpreted as claims concerning relations to propositions. The most familiar arguments for the existence of propositions rest on the relational analysis. I begin by reporting the usual argument for the relational analysis. Then I provide a new analysis of attitude ascriptions, and explain where the usual argument for the relational analysis goes wrong.
Arvid Båve (Göteborg): Are that-clauses singular terms?
The question of how to analyse, semantically and syntactically, sentences of the form, “X ϕs that p”, e.g., “John believes that it is raining” is now over a century old, but the two main competing views in the contemporary debate derive largely from Frege and Russell, respectively.
Frege accepted what is known as the Relational Analysis (RA) according to which the attitude verb in such sentences is just a two-place predicate and the that-clause, e.g., “that it is snowing”, is a singular term, which is said to refer to a proposition. Russell’s theory is known as the “Multiple Relations Theory” (MRT) and holds that the attitude verb does not link two singular terms but rather a singular term (the grammatical subject) and a sentence. On his view, the verb expresses a multi-grade relation relating the person having the attitude with an unspecified number of objects, properties and relations, as specified by the complement sentence.
Among the various linguistic data appealed to in this debate, there are three sets of intuitions about the grammaticality of certain sentences, which seem to tell clearly against (RA). Indeed, I will assume that if these intuitions are veridical, then (RA) is false. Thus, the only way to rescue (RA) is to argue that the intuitions are non-veridical, which I do in this talk.
Robert Schwartzkopff (Oxford/Hamburg): Syntactic Decisiveness: A Critical Defence
Arithmetical realists of a Neo-Fregean bent put a premium on the ability to classify expressions as singular terms via some ‘broadly syntactic’ criteria. Even if it granted that the criteria correctly classify paradigm cases of singular terms and non-singular terms, they are still open to the objection that the claim that their results carry weight in controversial, non-paradigm cases lacks justification. In my talk, I will attempt to provide the needed justification against the background of a simplified version of Frege’s semantics. Doing so reveals that the criteria leave open a classificatory gap. However, I will argue that this gap is harmless for the Neo-Fregeans’ purposes.
Benjamin Schnieder (Hamburg/Göteborg): Talking About Properties
Russell’s antinomy concerning sets is usually said to prove the inconsistency of the naïve conception of sets. Analogously, Russell’s antinomy concerning properties should prove the inconsistency of the ordinary or naïve conception of properties. In this talk, I will be argued that the standard view on those matters can be rejected; a consistent account of the naïve conception of properties is developed.

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