Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

de re, philosophy: statements that refer to non-linguistic objects are de re. Here, most authors assume that the ascribed properties are contingent. An exception is essentialism which ascribes certain necessary properties to objects. See also de dicto, necessity de re, contingency, modality, essentialism.
Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Hintikka, J.
Books on Amazon
de re I 98
W-questions/who/what/where/Hintikka: thesis: W-questions are nothing but quantified phrases.
I 99
Logical form:
(1) John knows who the Prime Minister of Norway is.
Analyzed as a that-construction:
(2) (Ex) John knows that (the Prime Minister of Norway = x) (= de dicto)
Problem: you have to specify the area of the individual that the variable "x" passes ((s) quotation marks by Hintikka).
De re: (de re reading of (1)):
(3) (Ex) (x = Prime Minister of Norway &
(Ey) John knows that (x = y))
De re/de dicto/Hintikka: de re does not entail de dicto, i.e. (3) does not entail (2).
((s) Because otherwise omniscience follows again).
Knowledge/Hintikka: we do not have to analyze knowledge here as the relation to the alternatives, which picks out the same individual in each knowledge compatible possible world.
HintikkaVsMontague: Problem: all this does not work within the framework of Montague. Problem: in the natural extension of the Montague semantics, which we consider here, the following sentences are all valid:
(4) (x)(Ey)(x = y) > (Ey)(y = x & (Ez) John knows that y = z)))
I 100
Everyday Translation/Hintikka: John knows about every existing individual who it is (de re).
(5) (x)(Ey)(John knows that (x = y)) > (Ey)(y = x & (Ez) Bill knows that (y = z==
Everyday-Language Translation/Hintikka: Bill knows of every individual whose identity is known to John, who this individual is (again de re).
Problem: Both are extremely wrong.
Non-existence/Hintikka: however, this is unproblematic as long as we do not have to consider the possible non-existence of individuals in epistemically possible worlds.
Hintikka: Problem: this does not change the problem.

Hin I
Jaakko and Merrill B. Hintikka
The Logic of Epistemology and the Epistemology of Logic Dordrecht 1989

J. Hintikka/M. B. Hintikka
Untersuchungen zu Wittgenstein Frankfurt 1996

> Counter arguments against Hintikka
> Counter arguments in relation to de re

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-27