I have to confess that I have had a lot of difficulties to understand the text. Now, I have a lot of doubts. I expound them here. I guess I have not enough background to follow the discussion; my fault, sorry.
At a certain point Hawthorne asks: wouldn’t it be more charitable to interpret allegedly Bold Gabriel as Timid Gabriel? And he answers: Gabriel’s commitment to Ref. puts considerable pressure on us to interpret him as Bold.
Ref. Sentences of the form ‘That is F’ as uttered by Michael, are true only if Michael refers to something by ‘that’.
My doubt: If we accept that one can elaborate a semantic theory about a foreign language (in the relevant sense of foreign language that is in play here), what are the restrictions in our theorizing? For example, why cannot I use something like Ref* instead of Ref:
Ref*. Sentences of the form ‘That is F’ as uttered by Michael are true only if Michael refers to something-on-Michaels-domain-of-objects by ‘that’.
This way here there would be no reason to interpret allegedly Bold Gabriel as Bold Gabriel and not as Timid Gabriel.
Hawthorne describes his Convention Lover as saying that: when thoughts were conceived of hyperintensionally, neither Gabriel nor Michael could express the thoughts of the other on account of the fact that the quantifiers of each were semantically alien to the other.
This leads to the non-acceptance of Ref 2. by a Convention Lover.
Ref 2. If Gabriel utters a truth by a sentence of the form ‘That is F’ then E(m)x(m) (‘that’ refers to x(m))
Doubt: But even if in general the Convention Lover might say this kind of things I do not see why in the specific case Hawthorne postulates he cannot say that Michael will be able to express the thoughts of the other because Gabriel’s language seems to be just a sublanguage of Michael’s language; a restriction of it.
Hawthorne says that: The Convention Lover will happily speak of the truth and falsity of sentences with superficially more restrictive ontologies. But she will not use the familiar kinds of apparatus to describe how those sentences get to be true; she will not use the concepts of domain, reference, extension, property, and so on in this connection. One normally thinks of the concept of sentential truth as forming part of a family, linked integrally to such concepts as reference, being true of, and so on. Retain the family and one will inevitably favour the Plenitude Lover over the Convention Lover.
Doubt: But then, it seems like HaWthorne has chosen the Convention Lover easy to fight with. What are his reasons not to choose a Convention Lover of the kind that defends there is no transcendent truth predicate (he says Quine and Carnap were of that sort.)
Hawthorne says: Suppose we take the Convention Lover is speaking a language in which she is right to say of the central claims of her mereology –formulated in her language- that they are analytic. How would she then be situated vis-à-vis the Plenitude Lover?
And he adds: Let us suppose that the Plenitude Lover is speaking a language in which quantifiers and variables are deployed in such a way that the central tenets of his mereological theorizing are neither analytically true nor analytically false.
Doubt: it is my fault, but I have the following basic doubt: if one is a Plenitude Lover, is there some reason not to claim that the central tenets of mereology are analytic?