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Three Millian Ways to Resolve Open Questions

by Andrew Cullison

Millianism is a thesis in philosophy of language that the meaning of a proper name is simply its referent. Millianism faces certain puzzles called Frege's Puzzles. Some Millians defend the view by appealing to a metaphysics of belief that involves Ways of Believing. In the first part of this paper, I argue that ethical naturalists can adopt this Millian strategy to resist Moore’s Open Question argument. While this strategy of responding to the Open Question Argument has already appeared in the literature, I show that the Millian strategy can be easily extended to other versions of the Open Question Argument that are alleged to be stronger than the original formulation. The allegedly stronger versions of the Open Question Argument are not straightforwardly Frege's Puzzles, but they still have analogue versions that have been presented against Millianism. What the Ways Millian can say against those analogue versions can easily be applied to these other versions of the Open Question Argument.

ISSN 1559-3061
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