How to Infer What Persistent Things Are Up to

A Fregean Puzzle for Traditional Fregeans

Johan Gersel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

How do we inferentially unify separately acquired empirical information into a single comprehensive picture of the lives of persistent particulars? This paper argues that hidden in such inferences is a Fregean puzzle that can only be solved by individuating our demonstratives thoughts in terms of object-dependent Fregean Senses. I begin by characterizing some constraints on a non-skeptical account of our inferential unification of empirical information. I then go on to show that traditional Fregean views of Sense cannot explain the rationality of such inferences; the consequence of which would be widespread skepticism concerning fundamental aspects of our empirical worldview. I show how the theory of object-dependent Senses can account for the rationality of the puzzling inferences. Lastly, I consider the alternative that we abandon a Fregean explanation of the rationality of inferences. While not fully dismissing that option, I briefly raise, what I take to be, a daunting challenge that uniquely faces non-Fregean views of rational inference.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInquiry
Number of pages30
ISSN0020-174X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online 26 April 2019

Keywords

  • Frege
  • Frege's puzzle
  • Sense
  • Content
  • Demonstrative thought
  • Inference

Cite this

@article{40f839636295436eacc5de82d42e8112,
title = "How to Infer What Persistent Things Are Up to: A Fregean Puzzle for Traditional Fregeans",
abstract = "How do we inferentially unify separately acquired empirical information into a single comprehensive picture of the lives of persistent particulars? This paper argues that hidden in such inferences is a Fregean puzzle that can only be solved by individuating our demonstratives thoughts in terms of object-dependent Fregean Senses. I begin by characterizing some constraints on a non-skeptical account of our inferential unification of empirical information. I then go on to show that traditional Fregean views of Sense cannot explain the rationality of such inferences; the consequence of which would be widespread skepticism concerning fundamental aspects of our empirical worldview. I show how the theory of object-dependent Senses can account for the rationality of the puzzling inferences. Lastly, I consider the alternative that we abandon a Fregean explanation of the rationality of inferences. While not fully dismissing that option, I briefly raise, what I take to be, a daunting challenge that uniquely faces non-Fregean views of rational inference.",
keywords = "Frege, Frege's puzzle, Sense, Content, Demonstrative thought, Inference, Frege, Frege's puzzle, Sense, Content, Demonstrative thought, Inference",
author = "Johan Gersel",
note = "Epub ahead of print. Published online 26 April 2019",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "26",
doi = "10.1080/0020174X.2019.1610052",
language = "English",
journal = "Inquiry",
issn = "0020-174X",
publisher = "Routledge",

}

How to Infer What Persistent Things Are Up to : A Fregean Puzzle for Traditional Fregeans. / Gersel, Johan.

In: Inquiry, 26.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - How to Infer What Persistent Things Are Up to

T2 - A Fregean Puzzle for Traditional Fregeans

AU - Gersel, Johan

N1 - Epub ahead of print. Published online 26 April 2019

PY - 2019/4/26

Y1 - 2019/4/26

N2 - How do we inferentially unify separately acquired empirical information into a single comprehensive picture of the lives of persistent particulars? This paper argues that hidden in such inferences is a Fregean puzzle that can only be solved by individuating our demonstratives thoughts in terms of object-dependent Fregean Senses. I begin by characterizing some constraints on a non-skeptical account of our inferential unification of empirical information. I then go on to show that traditional Fregean views of Sense cannot explain the rationality of such inferences; the consequence of which would be widespread skepticism concerning fundamental aspects of our empirical worldview. I show how the theory of object-dependent Senses can account for the rationality of the puzzling inferences. Lastly, I consider the alternative that we abandon a Fregean explanation of the rationality of inferences. While not fully dismissing that option, I briefly raise, what I take to be, a daunting challenge that uniquely faces non-Fregean views of rational inference.

AB - How do we inferentially unify separately acquired empirical information into a single comprehensive picture of the lives of persistent particulars? This paper argues that hidden in such inferences is a Fregean puzzle that can only be solved by individuating our demonstratives thoughts in terms of object-dependent Fregean Senses. I begin by characterizing some constraints on a non-skeptical account of our inferential unification of empirical information. I then go on to show that traditional Fregean views of Sense cannot explain the rationality of such inferences; the consequence of which would be widespread skepticism concerning fundamental aspects of our empirical worldview. I show how the theory of object-dependent Senses can account for the rationality of the puzzling inferences. Lastly, I consider the alternative that we abandon a Fregean explanation of the rationality of inferences. While not fully dismissing that option, I briefly raise, what I take to be, a daunting challenge that uniquely faces non-Fregean views of rational inference.

KW - Frege

KW - Frege's puzzle

KW - Sense

KW - Content

KW - Demonstrative thought

KW - Inference

KW - Frege

KW - Frege's puzzle

KW - Sense

KW - Content

KW - Demonstrative thought

KW - Inference

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=954925264201&rft.object_portfolio_id=&svc.holdings=yes&svc.fulltext=yes

U2 - 10.1080/0020174X.2019.1610052

DO - 10.1080/0020174X.2019.1610052

M3 - Journal article

JO - Inquiry

JF - Inquiry

SN - 0020-174X

ER -