According to quotational theory, indirect ascriptions of prepositional attitudes should be analyzed as direct ascriptions of attitudes towards natural-language sentences specified by quotations. A famous objection to this theory is Church's translation argument. In the literature several objections to the translation argument have been raised, which in this paper are shown to be unsuccessful. This paper offers a new objection. We argue against Church's presupposition that quoted expressions, since they are mentioned, cannot be translated. In many contexts quoted expressions are used and mentioned simultaneously, and the quotational analysis of propositional-attitude ascriptions is such a context. Hence the translation argument is unsound.

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Journal for General Philosophy of Science
Erasmus School of Philosophy

Olders, D., & Sas, P. (2001). Lifting the church-ban on quotational analysis: The translation argument and the use-mention distinction. Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 257–270. Retrieved from