chapter  5
3 Pages

Resolving Hale's problem

Nevertheless, let me discuss one suggestion for an extension of Blackburn's expressivist semantics (which is inspired by Hale, 1986). The suggestion is this: For any x which is denoted by the expression to which 'Y!( )' or 'Z!( )' get attached respectively, 'Y!( )' could be a force indicator expressive of the attitude of believing that x is three years old, and 'Z!( )' a force indicator expressive of the attitude of believing that x is two years old. For example, 'Z!(Linda)' would be a sentence by which one could express the attitude of believing that Linda is two years old. Each non-moral predicate could be treated as a force indicator expressive of an epistemic attitude in this way. Thus, 'is round' would be expressive of the attitude of believing that something is round, 'is square' of the attitude of believing that something is square, and so on for all non-moral predicates. Then '/Y!(Ruben)/' would denote the attitude of believing that Ruben is three years old (following the rule that slash-expressions denote the attitude standardly expressible by the sentence within the slashes). We could then write:

/Y!(Ruben)/;/Z!(Linda)/ and thereby denote a certain complex attitude, following the rule that' A; C' denotes the complex dispositional attitude of tending to have the attitude denoted by 'C', should one have the attitude denoted by 'A'. The dominant operator 'X!( )' could then be some force indicator expressive of epistemic approval. We would then arrive at the following proposal for (11):

(F'11) X!(/Y!(Ruben)/;/Z!(Linda)/).