Ruth Barcan Marcus' Wittgenstein

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Ruth Barcan Marcus invented quantified modal logic, proved the necessity of identity in 1946-47 (under the name 'Ruth Barcan') and advocated direct reference in 1961. This paper argues, contra Wiggins (1974, 2003) and Hintikka and Sandu (1995), that these views of Barcan Marcus' are not particularly close to, nor are they inspired by, the views about modality, identity, and reference put forward in Wittgenstein's Tractatus. By contrast, Wittgenstein did influence Barcan Marcus' later epistemological views. Barcan Marcus proposed that beliefs are not attitudes towards sentences or Fregean propositions but instead to objects in some actual or possible arrangement, citing Wittgenstein's picture theory. She also acknowledged the influence of later Wittgenstein when she argued that we cannot believe, but at most claim to believe, an impossibility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWittgenstein and Other Philosophers
Subtitle of host publicationHis Influence on Historical and Contemporary Analytic Philosophers
EditorsAli Hossein Khani, Gary Kemp
Number of pages15
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


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