Saul's paper "Substitution and Simple Sentences" inspired quite a number of different attempts to solve the problem she'd introduced. We look at the first of them here, by Graeme Forbes, and Saul's response to him.
In earlier work (cited in the paper), Forbes had developed a broadly Fregean account of attitude attribution. The details of the account do not matter very much here, and he explains it well enough for our purposes in the paper. The basic idea is that, in a sentence like
(i) Lois believes that Superman can fly.
there is an implicit reference to a "way of thinking" of Superman that is picked out by the words used in reporting the belief. So (i) is supposed to have the meaning:
(i') Lois believes, so-labeled, that Superman can fly.
where that means (roughly) that the belief in question is one Lois would herself report using those words.
As Forbes notes, many of Saul's examples plausibly involve psychological attitudes of some sort. And, in that case, whatever machinery a Fregean might have available to account for failures of substitution in attitude contexts can equally well be deployed to account for those examples. As Forbes also notes, however, not all of Saul's examples are amenable to that same treatment.
On the other hand, however, Forbes suggests that a somewhat similar move is still available. Thus:
(9) Clark went into the phone booth and Superman came out.
might be read as:
(11) Clark, so-attired, went into the phone booth and Superman, so-attired, came out.
A somewhat similar suggestion, based upon Forbes's discussion on pp. 111-2, might be that (9) should be interpreted as:
(11') Clark, so-presenting, went into the phone booth and Superman, so-presenting, came out.
One might expect this sort of proposal to generalize more easily to other cases.
Forbes really does not say very much about how this kind of proposal is supposed to generalize to other cases. So consider some of the other cases Saul mentions: How would Forbes want to handle them? Are there cases that are particularly difficult for this kind of view?
In Saul's reply, she raises several problems of detail for Forbes's proposal. It should be obvious that, on a case-by-case basis, there might well be some sensible account, broadly along Forbes's lines, to be given. But the underlying worry here is that these various moves are ad hoc. What one would like is some general and principled method for determining what the "literal" content of a sentence like (9) is supposed to be that could generate a difference of truth-value between it and
(10) Clark went into the phone booth and Clark came out.
But Forbes says almost nothing about this.
Saul also raises a more principled worry, however, about exactly what "modes of self-presenation" are supposed to be. What is it supposed to be for Clark to "present as Clark"? Saul considers several possiblities and argues that none of them work for all cases.
Are there any plausible proposals about what it might mean for Clark to "present as Clark" that Saul has neglected? Are there cases for which those proposals seem not to work?
Ultimately, the lesson of Saul's discussion seems to be that such "modes of self-presenation" need to be non-psychological if they are going to do the work Forbes needs them to do, and it just isn't clear how they could be. But if they are psychological, then that means that all of Saul's cases have somehow to be unmasked as involving attitudes, even the apparently non-attitude-involving cases like (9).
What's your own view about what we should say about these sorts of cases?