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Frege’s Puzzle on the Santa Monica Beach De Jure Co-reference and the Logical Appraisal of Rational Agents


Referentialism. De jure co-reference. Frege’s puzzle. Logical validity. Reasoning.

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BOCCARDI, E. Frege’s Puzzle on the Santa Monica Beach De Jure Co-reference and the Logical Appraisal of Rational Agents. Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas, SP, v. 41, n. 1, p. 1–31, 2018. Disponível em: Acesso em: 4 out. 2023.


In this paper, I argue that a number of influential Millian responses to Frege’s puzzle, which consist in denying that Frege’s data apply to natural languages (and thinking), are not viable if logic is to play its role in legitimizing the logical appraisal of rational subjects. A notion of validity which does justice to the normativity of logic must make room for a distinction between valid inferences and enthymemes. I discuss the prospects of formal, relevant and manifest validity as candidates for a notion which complies with this desideratum. Their success, or failure is argued to hang on the viability of a semantical account of de jure co-reference, which is in tension with standard Millian tenets. I conclude that these Millian theories face the following dilemma: either accept that there is no notion of logical validity which makes logic normative for reasoning, thus jeopardizing our well entrenched practices of rational appraisal; or accept that de jure co-reference is a real semantical relation.


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