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Why Don'T 2d Jokes Fall Flat? A Two-Dimensional Interpretation of Russell'S Joke About the Yachts


  • Victor V. Gorbatov

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics)


In recent critical comments on “On Denoting”, Saul Kripke says that Russell's famous analysis of joke about yachts in terms of degrees and graded positives is incorrect. His criticism has given rise to a number of issues related to interpreting cross-world comparisons like “Õ might have been greater than it is” in doxastic contexts like “John believes that P”. The main goal of this paper is to compare two approaches to cross-world predication in intensional contexts. One is Wehmeier’s subjunctive modal framework which distinctive feature is the use of two explicit mood markers. The other is Chalmers’s generalized epistemic two-dimensionalism, based on the idea of assigning all our expressions two kinds of intensions. Despite the fact that these approaches have of lot in common, they provide different interpretations of belief reports about cross-world comparisons. I argue that epistemic 2D framework is philosophically more relevant here than subjunctive markers approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor V. Gorbatov, 2016. "Why Don'T 2d Jokes Fall Flat? A Two-Dimensional Interpretation of Russell'S Joke About the Yachts," HSE Working papers WP BRP 131/HUM/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:131/hum/2016

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    cross-world predication; cross-world quantification; quanti?ed modal logic; two-dimensional semantics; possible worlds; subjunctivity; comparatives; belief reports;

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    • Z - Other Special Topics

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