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I just read Searle's article Proper Names (1958) which was published before Kripke's seminal take on the subject in Naming and Necessity (1980). I think it is a very lucid article but I have a question regarding the first example he raised. Searle claims that :

(a) "Tully = Tully" is analytic
(b) "Tully = Cicero" is also analytic.

In particular, he says "Both are analytically true, and both illustrate contingent facts about our use of symbols". I wonder how can (b) be analytic if one does not know that Tully refers to Cicero and vice versa, which was the case for me when I started reading it. I had to google who Tully referred to. I understand that based on the syntactic structure and referents of the two words alone, one can know that (b) is analytically true, but if like me, one does not know from the outset that Tully is Cicero and have to "recourse to empirical investigation" (in my case Googling), then wouldn't it be a synthetic statement, albeit a rather trivial one?

I may have missed some of Searle's arguments. If I have, I would be glad if anyone can point me in the right direction!

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  • He explains it in the same paragraph:"The linguistic rules for using the name 'Cicero' and the linguistic rules for using the name 'Tully' are such that both names refer to, without describing, the same identical object...". You may not know the relevant linguistic rules, and then googling them up will be informative for you. But it is the same with "Tully = Tully" if you do not know them for "=". That a statement is analytic does not mean that it can not be informative or that it can not be discovered by empirical means. Only that it does not depend on anything empirical.
    – Conifold
    Nov 9 '20 at 5:47
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Short Answer

Simply, put, no. Searle in this article is approaching the analytic-synthetic difference by showing the role of metaphysical presupposition in evaluating a statement.

Long Answer

Pages 166 and 167 have everything right there, but admittedly, it's very dense and it helps to have some background information on the a priori and a posteriori, the analytic-synthetic distinction, the notion of Sinn und Bedetung, and the descriptivist theory of names as well as alternative theories of names.

It is Searle's contention that both a) and b) are not fundamentally different in the absence of metaphysical presupposition; he seeks to show that even a statement like 'a=a' is contingently true. From p.167:

(a) and (b) above... are analytic...

This, of course, is what you're asking. Why isn't it b) synthetic? He gives an example that shows that context is important for determining whether or not the Law of Identity holds:

[T]hat the same mark refers to the same object on two different occasions of its use is a convenient, but contingent usage.

Thus, the traditional criterion of deciding if the subject is somehow inherent in the predication is merely a metaphysical presumption. That is to say, it's not even necessarily true that in the proposition 'a=a', the first and the second 'a' refer to the same object or if you prefer, possess the same reference. He goes to give an example from cryptography:

Suppose the first time an object is referred to in our discourse it is referred to by 'x', the second time by 'y', etc. For anyone who knows this code 'x=y' is trivially analytic, but 'x=x' is senseless.

What does this mean in simpler words? The relation of the symbol 'x' to 'y' is relative to how the tokens and to what they refer are used in the language-game! What Wittgenstein grasped in his Philosophical Investigations was that symbols used in language are inherently normative, and where there is public language and shared meaning, there is ultimately convention. Elsewhere he speaks to how the Law of Identity in the use of proper names can be used synthetically:

[I]ndeed, some identity statements using two proper names are clearly synthetic: people who argue that Shakespeare was Bacon are not advancing a thesis about language.

Hence, the criterion for determining the analytic and synthetic nature of a proposition is not captured in the tokens proper, but rather is a function of the conventions of the language game.

An example will suffice to clarify: Let's invent a language-game. We translate tokens to descriptions. The truth of the proposition is determined by the biconditional function. (This is a very simple use of synonymy to establish identity.)

Rule 1. The first time a string token is used to refer to the historical entity known as Marcus Tullius Cicero, first 'Marcus' must be used, the second time 'Tully', and the last 'Cicero'. For subsequent invocations, just repeat in the spirit of the modulo operation.
Rule 2. Any reference to a fictional entity, such as in a mention in a work of Shakespeare, who is roughly based on Marcus Tullius Cicero must be referred to by 'Tully'.

Now, this is NOT a conventional way to use proper names. It inherently causes confusion, but Searle's point is simple. That "'Tully=Tully' is analytic" is contingent, not necessary. The reasons for the convention are intuitive, but it unnecessary to explain. Now, examine the short passage.

"Given the historical accuracy of the passage, the historical Marcus is Tully in the work of fiction; Tully is Tully."

Now, in the second sentence, 'Tully is Tully' is actually synthetic despite the fact that the tokens are identical! That's because they refer to two different things. That is, if one only uses the criterion to determine whether a sentence contains the same token being used, it appears analytical. Yet, in the context of the passage, the meaning is an elliptical construction read as "(Thus, the historical) Tully is (the same as the fictional) Tully (in this regard). Clearly they don't have the same reference and therefore don't obey the Law of Identity in this application of natural language.

Even more importantly, how do we know in this language-game the same cited proposition "Tully is Tully" is true or not? Because we have empirical evidence, in this case, of the historical accuracy of the fictional passage to decide. Thus, our reliance on that evidence makes the proposition synthetic.

So, to address your own example, it is not appropriate to draw the following conclusion without appropriate qualification:

(a) "Tully = Tully" is analytic because the same token is used.
(b) "Tully = Cicero" is also analytic because essentially I was just ignorant that they are two tokens that refer to the same Marcus Tullius Cicero of historical import.

The question of the reference of 'Tully' always depends under what circumstances the token refers to the same entity, and that is a matter of social convention; that is to say, it is normative. And the criteria for determining whether a sentence (NOT proposition) is analytic or synthetic is a function of evaluating the language game.

Appendix

He explains it in the same paragraph:"The linguistic rules for using the name 'Cicero' and the linguistic rules for using the name 'Tully' are such that both names refer to, without describing, the same identical object...". You may not know the relevant linguistic rules, and then googling them up will be informative for you. But it is the same with "Tully = Tully" if you do not know them for "=". That a statement is analytic does not mean that it can not be informative or that it can not be discovered by empirical means. Only that it does not depend on anything empirical. – Conifold

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From your reference below, Searle just disagree with Frege in a certain case, namely, when both a and b are proper name.

His answer is that though 'a' and 'b' have the same reference they have or may have different senses, in which case the statement is true, though not analytically so. But this solution seems more appropriate where 'a' and 'b' are both non-synonymous definite descriptions, or where one is a definite description and one is a proper name, than where both are proper names...

For example, in below case Searle hold the same mediated reference theory as Frege:

a=object that exists independently of human sense, b=Noumenon

then a=b is synthetic (new info gained since we know a definite description of Noumenon)

However, in below case Searle believes:

a=Kant's Noumenon, b=Noumenon

then a=b is analytic (assume the author knows in western convention, noumenon is always strictly referred to as Kant's specific notion)

So you have to stand in the perspective of the naming author to understand analytic and synthetic difference here, otherwise you're rightly confused. Since the author of "Tully" in your question must knew Tully is just another proper name of Cicero (actually his middle name), so "Tully=Cicero" is analytic in this sense. It actually doesn't matter whether the author or reader knows this fact or not that Tully is just another proper name of Cicero, this identity is necessary in all possible worlds in modal logic which is called the Necessity of identity

for every object x and object y, if x and y are the same object, it is necessary that x and y are the same object... Kripke suggested that the principle could be derived directly, assuming what he called rigid designation.

Of course for other cases such as, "Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher born on 3 January 106 BC=Cicero", is synthetic for Searle too.

Finally note that the whole philosophical enterprise of studying reference has been critiqued by linguist Noam Chomsky in his various works.

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