# How long does it take to travel eighty miles, when going 80mph?

How long does it take to travel eighty miles, when going 80mph?

I’m not sure which way to take this, but the way I see it, she’s thinking one of two things:

(1) She has just read Quine’s “Two Dogmas” and realizes (unlike her dogmatic husband) that there is no real distinction between analytic and synthetic statements. Her Oh So Dogmatic husband thinks that “It takes an hour to travel eighty miles when traveling eighty miles an hour” is analytic. She recognizes that no sentence is “true by meaning” and no sentence is immune to revision.

(2) She has just read Donnellan’s “Reference and Definite Descriptions” and realizes (unlike her Russellian husband) that definite descriptions like “the speed that we are traveling at when traveling 80 miles per hour” can be used attributively and referentially. Attributively, of course, it would take an hour to travel 80 miles at the speed of 80mph. But if the description “the speed that we are traveling at when traveling 80 miles per hour” is being used referentially, then the car may not actually be traveling 80mph. Her husband may be using the description “80mph (etc.)” in order to fix reference on the actual speed of the car–perhaps he read the speedometer, which indicated “80mph”–but the actual speed being referred to need not be 80mph.

So, the wife is either a sophisticated Quinean naturalist, or has a more nuanced understanding of how descriptions work than her husband. Anyway, this is just another instance where someone tries to do public philosophy and just winds up being called a “blonde.”

[EDIT: Woe be unto me, etc. etc. Terrible blunder. Completely misattributed Kripke. Had to remove from the post. If anybody saw what I wrote, my precious reputation would be ruined. That's the risk with philoblogging. You try to make light of an internet video, you wind up getting a Kripke point wrong, and your whole career is just decimated.]

[EDIT 2: I know it is popular fashion on some blogs to strikethrough their blunders. This is very noble of them. This is my blog and I'll do whatever the hell I want with it.]