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Keywords:

  • Frege;
  • indirect contexts;
  • infinite hierarchy of senses;
  • Kripke;
  • Burge

Abstract

According to Frege, expressions shift their reference when they occur in indirect contexts: in “Anna believes that Plato is wise” the expression “Plato” no longer refers to Plato but to what is ordinarily its sense. Many philosophers, including Carnap, Davidson, Burge, Parsons, Kripke and Künne, believe that on Frege's view the iteration of indirect context creating operators gives rise to an infinite hierarchy of senses. While the former two take this to be problematic, the latter four welcome the hierarchy with open arms. In this paper I argue (against the quartet) that the hierarchy should be avoided and (against all of them) that it can be avoided.