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Lifting the Church-Ban on Quotational Analysis: The Translation Argument and the Use-Mention Distinction

Diederik Olders and Peter Sas
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Vol. 32, No. 2 (Dec., 2001), pp. 257-270
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25171203
Page Count: 14
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Lifting the Church-Ban on Quotational Analysis: The Translation Argument and the Use-Mention Distinction
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Abstract

According to quotational theory, indirect ascriptions of propositional attitudes should be analyzed as direct ascriptions of attitudes towards natural-language sentences specified by quotations. A famous objection to this theory is Church's translation argument. In the literature several objections to the translation argument have been raised, which in this paper are shown to be unsuccessful. This paper offers a new objection. We argue against Church's presupposition that quoted expressions, since they are mentioned, cannot be translated. In many contexts quoted expressions are used and mentioned simultaneously, and the quotational analysis of propositional-attitude ascriptions is such a context. Hence the translation argument is unsound.

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