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A Puzzle about Belief originally appeared in Meaning and Use (1979), ed. A. Margalit (Dordrecht: Reidel), pp. 239-83. Re-publications as follows (in date order).

  • N. Salmon and S. Soames, eds., Propositions and Attitudes (Oxford University Press, 1988), 102-148.
  • A.P. Martinich, The Philosophy of Language, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press 1996, 382-410.
  • Kripke, S., Philosophical Troubles, Collected Papers, Vol. 1. Oxford University Press, pp. 125-161.



In date order.


  • Saul Kripke, "Speaker's reference and Semantic Reference" 1977


  • Ruth Barcan Marcus, "A Proposed Solution to the Puzzle about Belief" in Midwest studies in Philosophy vol. 6, 1981 (501-510)
  • David Lewis, "What Puzzling Pierre does not believe" in Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59, 1981 (283-289)
  • Ruth Barcan Marcus, "Rationality and Believing the Impossible", Journal of Philosophy LXXX, 1983 (321-338)
  • D. E. Over (1983). On Kripke's Puzzle. Mind 92 (366):253-256.
  • Pettit, Philip 1984. 'Dissolving Kripke's Puzzle about Belief’, Ratio 26, 181-194
  • Kvart, I. 1986. 'Kripke's Belief Puzzle’, in Peter A. French, Theodore E. Uehling, Jr., Howard K. Wettstein, eds., Studies in the Philosophy of Mind, pp. 287-325. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 10. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986.
  • Nathan Salmon, Frege's Puzzle MIT, Cambridge (mass.), 1986
  • Loar, Brian 1987. 'Names in Thought’, Philosophical Studies 51, 169-185.
  • McMichael, A. 1987. 'Kripke's Puzzle and Belief "Under" A Name’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17, 105-126.
  • William Taschek (1988). Would a Fregean Be Puzzled by Pierre? Mind 97 (385):99-104. link
  • Nathan Salmon, "Illogical Beliefs" in Philosophical Perspectives 3, 1989 (243-85)
  • Corlett, J. A. 1989. 'Is Kripke's Puzzle Really A Puzzle?', Theoria 55, 95-113.
  • Mark Crimmins & John Perry (1989). The Prince and the Phone Booth: Reporting Puzzling Beliefs. Journal of Philosophy 86 (12):685 - 711.


  • Keith Donnellan, "Belief and the identity of reference" in Midwest Studies in Philosophy, CSLI 1990 (201-214)
  • Stephen Shiffer, "Belief Ascription", in Journal of Philosophy 1992 (499-521)
  • Graeme Forbes (1994). Donnellan on a Puzzle About Belief. Philosophical Studies 73 (2-3):169 - 180." Keith Donnellan has advanced an interpretation of Kripke's well-known "Puzzle About Belief" according to which the puzzle concerns the true nature of beliefs. In this paper I argue that the puzzle merely concerns problems that others can have in "reporting" a confused individual's beliefs. I conclude that a new-Fregean account of belief- ascription is best- equipped to solve the puzzle."
  • David Sosa, "Import of the Puzzle About Belief", Philosophical Review, 1996) According to Penco, Sosa argues against the idea that Kripke's puzzle can be considered as a reduction of the disquotational principle; eventually he says that Kripke-type cases can be created even without any principle of disquotation.
  • Martinich, A. P. (1997). ‘Philosophy of Language.’ In J. Canfield (Ed.) Routledge History of Philosophy, Volume X: Philosophy of Meaning, Knowledge and Value in the Twentieth Century.
  • Kent Bach (1997). Do Belief Reports Report Beliefs? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):215-241. "The traditional puzzles about belief reports puzzles rest on a certain seemingly innocuous assumption, that 'that'-clauses specify belief contents. The main theories of belief reports also rest on this "Specification Assumption", that for a belief report of the form 'A believes that p' to be true,' the proposition that p must be among the things A believes. I use Kripke's Paderewski case to call the Specification Assumption into question. Giving up that assumption offers prospects for an intuitively more plausible approach (...)"
  • David M. Braun (1998). Understanding Belief Reports. Philosophical Review 107 (4):555-595. "In this paper, I defend a well-known theory of belief reports from an important objection. The theory is Russellianism, sometimes also called `neo-Russellianism', `Millianism', `the direct reference theory', `the "Fido"-Fido theory', or `the naive theory'. The objection concernssubstitution of co-referring names in belief sentences. Russellianism implies that any two belief sentences, that differ only in containing distinct co-referring names, express the same proposition (in any given context). Since `Hesperus' and `Phosphorus' both refer to the planet Venus, this view implies that (...)"
  • Bryan Frances (1998). Defending Millian Theories. Mind 107 (428):703-728. "In this article I offer a three-pronged defense of Millian theories, all of which share the rough idea that all there is to a proper name is its referent, so it has no additional sense. I first give what I believe to be the first correct analysis of Kripke’s puzzle and its anti-Fregean lessons. The main lesson is that the Fregean’s arguments against Millianism and for the existence of semantically relevant senses (that is, individuative elements of propositions or belief contents (...)"
  • Joseph G. Moore (1999). Misdisquotation and Substitutivity: When Not to Infer Belief From Assent. Mind 108 (430):335-365. "In 'A Puzzle about Belief' Saul Kripke appeals to a principle of disquotation that allows us to infer a person's beliefs from the sentences to which she assents (in certain conditions). Kripke relies on this principle in constructing some famous puzzle cases, which he uses to defend the Millian view that the sole semantic function of a proper name is to refer to its bearer. The examples are meant to undermine the anti-Millian objection, grounded in traditional Frege-cases, that truth-value is (...)"
  • Bryan Frances (1999). Contradictory Belief and Epistemic Closure Principles. Mind and Language 14 (2):203–226. "Kripke’s puzzle has puts pressure on the intuitive idea that one can believe that Superman can fly without believing that Clark Kent can fly. If this idea is wrong then many theories of belief and belief ascription are built from faulty data. I argue that part of the proper analysis of Kripke’s puzzle refutes the closure principles that show up in many important arguments in epistemology, e.g., if S is rational and knows that P and that P entails Q, then (...)"


  • Bryan Frances (2000). Disquotation and Substitutivity. Mind 109 (435):519-25. "Millianism is reasonable; that is, it is reasonable to think that all there is to the semantic value of a proper name is its referent. But Millianism appears to be undermined by the falsehood of Substitutivity, the principle that interchanging coreferential proper names in an intentional context cannot change the truth value of the resulting belief report. Mary might be perfectly rational in assenting to ‘Twain was a great writer’ as well as ‘Clemens was not a great writer’".
  • Bryan Frances (2002). A Test for Theories of Belief Ascription. Analysis 62 (2):116–125. "These days the two most popular approaches to belief ascription are Millianism and Contextualism. The former approach is inconsistent with the existence of ordinary Frege cases, such as Lois believing that Superman flies while failing to believe that Clark Kent flies. The Millian holds that the only truth-conditionally relevant aspect of a proper name is its referent or extension. Contextualism, as I will define it for the purposes of this essay, includes all theories according to which ascriptions of the form (...)"
  • Jesper Kallestrup (2003). Paradoxes About Belief. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (1):107-117. "Referentialism is the view that all there is to the meaning of a singular term is its referent. Referentialism entails Substitutivity, i.e., that co-referring terms are intersubstitutable salva veritate . Frege's Paradox shows that Referentialism is inconsistent given two principles: Disquotation says that if S assents to 'P', then S believes that P, and Consistency says that if S believes that P and that not-P, then S is not fully rational. Kripke's strategy was to save Substitutivity by showing that those (...)"
  • Sean Crawford (2004). A Solution for Russellians to a Puzzle About Belief. Analysis 64 (3):223-29.
  • Gary Ostertag (2005). A Puzzle About Disbelief. Journal of Philosophy 102 (11):573-93. "According to the naive theory of belief reports, our intuition that “Lois believes that Kent flies” is false results from our mistakenly identifying what this sentence implicates, which is false, with what it says, which is true. Whatever the merits of this proposal, it is here argued that the naive theory’s analysis of negative belief reports—sentences such as “Lois doesn't believe that Kent flies”—gives rise to equally problematic clashes with intuition, but that in this case no “pragmatic” explanation is available. (...)"
  • Stephen R. Schiffer (2006). A Problem for a Direct-Reference Theory of Belief Reports. Noûs 40 (2):361-368. "(1) The propositions we believe and say are _Russellian_ _propositions_: structured propositions whose basic components are the objects and properties our thoughts and speech acts are about. (2) Many singular terms."
  • Kit Fine (2007). Semantic Relationism. Blackwell Pub.. "Introducing a new and ambitious position in the field, Kit Fine’s Semantic Relationism is a major contribution to the philosophy of language. Written by one of today’s most respected philosophers Argues for a fundamentally new approach to the study of representation in language and thought Proposes that there may be representational relationships between expressions or elements of thought that are not grounded in the intrinsic representational features of the expressions or elements themselves". Reviewed here by Gary Ostertag, Australasian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 87, No. 2, pp. 345–354; June 2009.
  • Michael McGlone (2009). Understanding Kripke's Puzzles About Belief. Philosophy Compass 4 (3):487-514. "In his famous 1979 article 'A Puzzle About Belief' Saul Kripke presents two puzzles regarding belief attribution, and he uses them to cast doubt on classical substitution arguments against the Millian view that a proper name has a 'denotation' (or reference) but no 'connotation' (or sense). In this article, I present Kripke's puzzles in what I take to be their most revealing form, discuss their relevance to the abovementioned arguments, briefly survey the ways in which philosophers have responded to these (...)"


  • Mark Sainsbury, "Paderewski Variations", Dialectica 2010
  • Richard, M., 2011. Kripke's Puzzle about Belief. In: A. Berger, ed. Saul Kripke, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 211-234.
  • JP Smit , “Some Lessons from Kripke’s A Puzzle About Belief”, Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics, Vol. 40, 2011, 39-56.
  • Lewis Powell (2012). How to Refrain From Answering Kripke's Puzzle. Philosophical Studies 161 (2):287-308. "In this paper, I investigate the prospects for using the distinction between rejection and denial to resolve Saul Kripke’s puzzle about belief. One puzzle Kripke presents in A Puzzle About Belief poses what would have seemed a fairly straightforward question about the beliefs of the bilingual Pierre, who is disposed to sincerely and reflectively assent to the French sentence Londres est jolie , but not to the English sentence London is pretty , both of which he understands perfectly well. The (...)"
  • JeeLoo Liu “The Two-Component Theory of Proper Names and Kripke’s Puzzle” Abstracta 2013. (Online only)


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