There are two things I really want to know. Unfortunately, I'm not too sure what they are. (So maybe that makes three!) The de dicto/de re distinction seems relevant to both. Let's see if writing this post can help me get a grasp on them at all...
1) What's the story with philosophical analyses? What's the relationship between a concept and its analysis, which provides necessary and sufficient conditions for something to fall under the concept? For example, suppose I could mentally grasp the entire set of all possible knowledge-instances, or goodness-instances. Do our concepts of 'knowledge' and 'goodness' invoke anything beyond these infinite sets (or their compression into systematic formulae)? Aren't the concepts normative in a way that their object-involving intensions cannot be? Is this what allows there to be substantive disagreements involving the concept? What's the central issue here?
2) What's the deal with numerical identity? Is there even any such thing, fundamentally, I mean? Or is all modality fundamentally de dicto, concerned with the distribution of descriptive qualities across the Humean tapestry of spacetime, with other possible "me"s bearing a relation to me that's merely a counterpart-theoretic construction? In what sense is this really the same chair as it was a moment ago? There's a certain physical continuity between the two temporal parts, of course. But does the fact of numerical identity -- being one and the same object -- consist in anything over and above this? My clearest thinking on this topic is here, but I suspect even that is hopelessly confused.
Combining the two problems: what does our concept of identity add to the raw, bleeding reality -- the set of temporal parts and counterparts that we'd classify as belonging to a single object? Where's the interpretation? What meaning do we project onto this raw stuff through our classification of it as numerically identical? (And is this merely a projection on our part, or something independently real?)
Argh! I really need to do more metaphysics and philosophy of language. (Though if anyone out there is able and willing to clarify these issues in a comment, that'd be just grand...)