By Julian Dodd
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It is a transparent review of Hume's theories of the self and private identification, together with his well-known Treatise on Human Nature. Pitson offers a serious exploration of his considering, additionally studying the ongoing relevance of Hume's theories for modern philosophy and referring to it to his broader reflections on human nature itself.
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Extra info for An Identity Theory of Truth
Propositions, Indirect Speech and Truthbearers 41 Considering locutions such as ‘that’s surprising, but it’s true’ and ‘that’s profound, but it’s true’, here is what they say: . . it simply isn’t true that the pronouns in ‘That’s surprising’ and ‘That’s profound’ refer to statements in the what-is-stated, or ‘propositional content’ sense of statement. What kind of thing is surprising? Facts, presumably, or events or states of affairs. (1975, p. 102) The response, then, is clear. The demonstrative in ‘that is surprising’ does not refer to a proposition; it refers to a fact.
Prior (1963), we see that, since they both construe (1) as a single sentence, extensionality can only be preserved by abandoning semantic innocence. According to the standard account, the logical form of (1) is represented as (6) Said (Lois Lane, that Superman can fly). That is to say, the report is taken to be a single sentence consisting of a two-place predicate, ‘said’, and two singular terms: ‘Lois Lane’, which refers to Lois Lane; and ‘that Superman can fly’, which refers to the thing she is claimed to have said.
Given that it is propositions which may enter into entailment relations, one can hardly hold back from saying that, in this case, the demonstrative ‘that’ names a proposition. And if this is so, why should we not treat another possible response of Eleanor’s to Susan’s assertion – namely, ‘that is true’ – in the same way? In reply to this kind of objection, the strategy of Grover et al. is to argue that when locutions of the form ‘that is F’ genuinely contain a demonstrative, this demonstrative refers to something other than a proposition.