External and internal same: A unified account motivated by attitude reports

  • Linmin Zhang

Abstract

I use empirical evidence from attitude reports to motivate a new characterization of natural language identity relation. More specifically, when de dicto attitude reports express an identity relation (e.g., John thinks A is B, John thinks A and B are the same), felicitous de re reports corresponding to them are systematically absent. This finding means that the identity relation encoded in natural language cannot be analyzed as a simple co-reference relation. Instead, I propose that in a given context, the identity relation between A and B means that contextually salient properties of A hold in certain worlds (e.g., in the belief worlds of an attitude holder) for B and vice versa. Based on this, I propose a new unified account for internal and external uses of same. Essentially, same is anaphoric: its antecedent is a plurality of individuals (i.e., res) and same means the intersection of contextually salient properties of each atomic individual involved in an identity relation.
How to Cite
Zhang, L. (1). External and internal same: A unified account motivated by attitude reports. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 20, 833-850. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2016.v20i0.298