This study explores the phenomenon of the so-called “third reading” of propositional attitude reports. This reading, which was originally explored in the dissertation of J. Fodor (1973) and has since become one of the significant problems in the formal semantics of natural languages, differs from the more well-known de re and de dicto readings by being an intermediate case. If the de re interpretation can be referred to as transparent specific, and the de dicto interpretation as opaque non-specific, then the (...) third reading is transparent non-specific. Fodor's standard solution has been the subject of much discussion in the literature and has given rise to a series of widely accepted counterexamples that are thought to demonstrate the limitations of Fodor's solution. At the same time, alternative approaches to the explication of these readings also suffer from formal shortcomings (for example, some of them did not satisfy the requirement of meaning compositionality, which is a basic requirement in formal semantic literature). This study points out that the analysis of all complex cases of the third reading did not fully take into account their syntactic structure. This remained unnoticed due to the ellipsis in many of these cases. It is shown that a restoration of the ellided syntactic structure makes it possible to analyze all hard cases as basic ones using the classical standard analysis proposed by Fodor supplemented by the principles of admissibility of substitution of L-equivalent expressions in intensional contexts (known since G. Frege and R. Carnap). In the final part of the work, it is demonstrated how exactly the main complex cases of the “third reading” are explicated in terms of the standard approach. (shrink)
This compilation of references includes all references for the knowledge-how chapters included in Bengson & Moffett's edited volume. The volume and the compilation of references may serve as a good starting point for people who are unfamiliar with the philosophical literature on knowledge-how.
One can remember events and one can remember facts: to remember an event (e.g. the barista's pouring my coffee this morning), one needs to have personally witnessed this event. To remember a fact (e.g. that the barista was trained in Italy), it suffices to have learned this fact from some other source. The distinction between event-directed (i.e. experiential) and fact-directed (or propositional) attitudes is an established distinction in philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science that is also exemplified by other attitudes (incl. (...) seeing, imagining, and dreaming). Until recently, semantics and the philosophy of language have assumed that experiential attitudes can be more or less straightforwardly reduced to propositional attitudes. However, new work has identified some key properties of experiential attitudes that cast doubt on this reducibility. The present paper discusses the most notable of these properties, focusing on experiential attitude reports. It links these properties to recent developments in formal and philosophical semantics in an effort to foster the development of a rigorous, empirically adequate account of experiential attitudes. (shrink)
Schlenker (Semant Pragmat 2(3):1–78, 2009; Philos Stud 151(1):115–142, 2010a; Mind 119(474):377–391, 2010b) provides an algorithm for deriving the presupposition projection properties of an expression from that expression’s classical semantics. In this paper, we consider the predictions of Schlenker’s algorithm as applied to attitude verbs. More specifically, we compare Schlenker’s theory with a prominent view which maintains that attitudes exhibit belief projection, so that presupposition triggers in their scope imply that the attitude holder believes the presupposition (Karttunen in Theor Linguist 34(1):181, (...) 1974; Heim in J Semant 9(3):183–221, 1992; Sudo in The art and craft of semantics: a festschrift for Irene Heim, MIT Press, 2014). We show that Schlenker’s theory does not predict belief projection, and discuss several consequences of this result. (shrink)
It is widely accepted among philosophers that there is a tension between acquaintance constraints on singular thought and the plausible assumption that the truths of singular attitude reports ensure the subject's having singular thoughts. From this, anti-acquaintance theorists contend that acquaintance constraints must be rejected. As a response, many acquaintance theorists maintain that there is good reason to doubt a strong connection between singular attitude reports and singular thoughts. In this paper, however, I defend the acquaintance theory by arguing that (...) there is in fact no tension at all. I consider three objections regarding singular attitude reports against the acquaintance theory: (i) ultra-liberal singular attitude reports, (ii) the “There is something that S believes to be F” locution, and (iii) infelicities of singular attitude reports. Then, I argue that none of them succeed in showing a genuine tension. (shrink)
Delusions have traditionally been considered the hallmark of mental illness, and their conception, diagnosis and treatment raise many of the fundamental conceptual and practical questions of psychopathology. One of these fundamental questions is whether delusions are understandable. In this paper, we propose to consider the question of understandability of delusions from a philosophy of language perspective. For this purpose, we frame the question of how delusions can be understood as a question about the meaning of delusional utterances. Accordingly, we ask: (...) “what meaning(s) can delusional utterances possibly have?”. We argue that in the current literature, there is a standard approach to the meaning of delusional utterances, namely the descriptive account which assumes that a delusional utterance “p” means that p is the case. Drawing on Speech Act Theory, we argue that solely relying on the descriptive account disregards essential ways of how linguistic meaning is constituted. Further, we show that Speech Act Theory can prove a helpful addition to the theoretical and clinical “toolbox” used for attempting to understand delusional utterances. This, we believe, may address some of the theoretical and clinical shortcomings of using only the currently predominant descriptive account. (shrink)
In a novel move against Russellianism, Heck (2014) has argued that reports of the form S believes that p are semantically opaque on the grounds that there are no other means in English to report psychologically individuated beliefs, such as those Lois Lane reports using the names ‘Superman’ and ‘Clark Kent.’ I show that there are several other ways to meet this need. I focus on quotational reports of the form S believes “p,” which philosophers have overlooked or mischaracterized. I (...) argue that reports of this form are no more metalinguistic than those using the complementizer that. In both, the meaning of the report depends on the meaning, not the form, of the complement. Some distinguishing features of non-metalinguistic quotational reports are that their complements force “deictic shift” and have no transparent interpretation. Free direct speech and thought bubbles have the same properties. The “q-ascriptions” McCullagh (2017a) proposed to defend Russellianism against Heck are not in common use and on his account are unsuitably metalinguistic. The fact that quotational belief reports are opaque without being metalinguistic makes the Russellian thesis that the meaning of a name is its referent untenable, thereby undermining Russellianism about belief reports. (shrink)
This paper develops and motivates an Expressivist theory of "experiential" talk and thought, focusing on speech acts and thoughts that contain taste predicates. According to this theory, one way for S to think that o tastes a way w is simply for o to taste w to S. When o tastes w to S (and, therefore, S thinks that o tastes w), S can express this thought, by saying that o tastes w. The speech act wherein S expresses the thought (...) that o tastes w, so understood, must be distinguished from the speech act wherein S says or asserts that S tastes w to them. This paper develops a formal model of these informal claims, and it argues that the resulting theory fits well with the linguistic data -- no worse than the best propositional theories when it comes to representing quantificational readings of attitude ascriptions, and strictly better than the best propositional theories when it comes to representing non-quantificational ("experiential") readings. (shrink)
In a paper published in 1992, Dennis Kurzon shows that silence does not necessarily mean lack of power: the silent response to a question may well be aiming at gaining control of a situation, viz. exercising power. I would like to extend Kurzon's analysis and argue that at times silence may mean derision or ridicule.
What is curiosity? An attractive option is that it is a desire to know. This analysis has been recently challenged by what I call interrogativism, the view that inquiring attitudes such as curiosity have questions rather than propositions as contents. In this paper, I defend the desire-to-know view, and make three contributions to the debate. First, I refine the view in a way that avoids the problems of its simplest version. Second, I present a new argument for the desire-to-know view (...) that focuses on ascriptions of the form ‘S is curious to φ’, which, despite their prevalence, have been ignored in the literature. Third, I examine the central motivation for interrogativism—the argument from metacognition, according to which animals can be curious yet do not have the metacognitive capacities required by desires to know—and argue that it rests on questionable assumptions about desires and attitude ascriptions. (shrink)
My belief that Socrates was wise, and your belief that Socrates was mortal can be said to have a common focus, insofar as both these thoughts are about Socrates. In Peter Geach’s terminology, the objects of our beliefs bear the feature of intentional identity, because our beliefs share the same putative target. But what if it turned out that Socrates never existed? Can a pair of thoughts share a common focus if the object both thoughts are about, does not actually, (...) really exist? Object-centric accounts of intentionality which explain the aboutness or directedness of thought in terms of the intentional object the thought in question is about, contend that thoughts which share a common focus do so in virtue of both thoughts simply being about the same intentional object. However, Alexander Sandgren contends that such theories face difficulties in explaining a puzzle of intentional identity put forward by Walter Edelberg, in which a pair of sentences seem to differ in truth value but are purportedly logically equivalent on the object-centric theory. If this is right, then it seems that any account which explains intentionality with reference to an intentional object is threatened by this result, whether this object be abstract, merely possible, Meinongian, or otherwise. In this paper, I argue that Edelberg’s Puzzle is analogous to Frege’s Puzzle and the same tools conventionally used to solve Frege’s Puzzle can be used to solve Edelberg’s Puzzle. I then propose a new object-centric solution to Edelberg’s Puzzle which takes into account modes of presentation and which is able to accommodate all the relevant linguistic data. (shrink)
On a simple and neat view, sometimes called the Relational Analysis of Attitude Ascriptions, a belief ascription on the form ‘S believes that x is F’ is correct if, and only if, S stands in the belief-relation to the proposition designated by ‘that x is F’, i.e., the proposition that x is F. It follows from this view that, for a person to believe, say, that x is a boat, there is one unique proposition that she has to believe. This (...) paper argues against this view. It fails, I contend, to make sense of peripheral concept variation. As we attribute and individuate concepts, two people’s concepts C1 and C2 count as e.g., concepts of boats even if their concepts have different extensions in peripheral, or borderline, cases of boats. Thus, A and B can believe that x is a boat through believing peripherally different propositions. It follows that there is no unique proposition that a person has to believe in order to believe e.g., that x is a boat. (shrink)
In the paper, I develop what I call the “Neo-Hintikkan theory” of belief sentences. What is characteristic of this approach is that the meaning of an ascription is analyzed in terms of the believer’s “epistemic alternatives”: the set of worlds compatible with how the believer takes the world to be. The Neo-Hintikkan approach proceeds by assuming that individuals in believers’ alternatives can share spatio-temporal parts with actual individuals, and ascribers can refer to individuals in believer’s alternatives in virtue of their (...) perceptual or causal interaction with the spatio-temporal parts these “believed individuals” share with actual individuals. The guiding idea underlying this view is that the source of substitutivity failure in certain central cases is that believers have put the spatio-temporal parts of the objects they have encountered together in the wrong way. (shrink)
According to a well-known view in the philosophy of mind, intentional attitudes by their very nature satisfy requirements of rationality (e.g. Davidson 1980; Dennett 1987; Millar 2004). This view (which I shall call Constitutivism) features prominently as the ‘principle of minimal rationality’ in de Sousa’s monograph The Rationality of Emotion (1987). By explicating this principle in terms of the notion of the formal object of an attitude, de Sousa articulates an interesting and original version of Constitutivism, which differs in important (...) respects from other extant versions. In this paper, I explore this version of Constitutivism against the background of recent developments in the theory of rationality and make explicit its ramifications for the long-standing dispute over whether the mind is essentially normative. My focus will be on how to conceive of the form of the rationality requirements that attitudes as such must satisfy according to this principle. I argue that, although de Sousa seems officially to endorse a structuralist conception of rationality, according to which these requirements are requirements of coherence, his considerations on formal objects suggest that they are more aptly conceived in terms of a reasons-responsive conception of rationality. I further argue that which of these two readings we choose makes a significant difference to the prospect of vindicating the essential normativity of mind by invoking the principle of minimal rationality. (shrink)
The Ideal Worlds Account of Desire says that S wants p just in case all of S’s most highly preferred doxastic possibilities make p true. The account predicts that a desire report ⌜S wants p⌝ should be true so long as there is some doxastic p-possibility that is most preferred. But we present a novel argument showing that this prediction is incorrect. More positively, we take our examples to support alternative analyses of desire, and close by briefly considering what our (...) cases suggest about the logic of desire. (shrink)
Philosophers have wanted to work with conceptions of word-competence, or concept-possession, on which being a competent practitioner with a word amounts to being a competent judge of its uses by others. I argue that our implicit conception of competence with a word does not have this presupposition built into it. One implication of this is what I call "modesty" in interpretation: we allow for others, uses of words that we would not allow for ourselves. I develop this point by looking (...) at Saul Kripke's discussion of some famous examples given by Benson Mates, concerning beliefs about beliefs. I defend Mates's point against Kripke's claim that an interpreter who is modest in my sense must be "conceptually confused." . (shrink)
This is a research report in which we present examples which should be of interest to those working on clausal embedding and dubitative verbs. Examples are presented which are relevant to the evaluation of claims and arguments in: (Karttunen 1977), (Uegaki 2021), (Huddleston 1994), (Biezma & Rawlins 2012), (Roelofsen; Herbstritt; & Aloni 2019), (Suñer 1993), and (Rawlins 2008). The examples are mostly from English, but we also present some examples from Italian, Spanish, and German.
The literature contains a popular argument in favor of the position that conditional attitudes are not simple attitudes with conditional contents but, rather, have a more complex structure. In this paper I show that an analogous argument applies to what we might call quantificational attitudes—like an intention to follow every bit of good advice I receive or a desire to get rabies shots for each bite I incur from an infected bat. The conditions under which these attitudes are satisfied and (...) thwarted are not captured by claiming that they are simple attitudes with quantificational contents. So, the argument supports a novel position—that quantificational attitudes have a more complex structure. After sketching the form of this extra structure, I show how similar considerations count in favor of the existence of genuinely quantificational speech acts. (shrink)
Prior's puzzle is a puzzle about the substitution of certain putatively synonymous or coreferential expressions in sentences. Prior's puzzle is important, because a satisfactory solution to it should constitute a crucial part of an adequate semantic theory for both proposition-embedding expressions and attitudinal verbs. I argue that two recent solutions to this puzzle are unsatisfactory. They either focus on the meaning of attitudinal verbs or content nouns. I propose a solution relying on a recent analysis of that-clauses in linguistics. Our (...) solution is superior, as it not only avoids the problems faced by previous solutions, but it also brings developments in linguistics in line to solve an old puzzle in philosophy. (shrink)
Caracterizando a existência como um processo de escolha e decisão que converge para a constituição do sujeito como tal, Kierkegaard atribui à existência a condição de um projeto em uma construção que encerra três possibilidades existenciais fundamentais, a saber, o estético, o ético e o religioso. Dessa forma, o artigo assinala que, constituindo-se uma dimensão em cujo estádio a procura do sentido ou a busca do absoluto circunscreve-se à imanência, o modo existencial estético caracteriza-se como a fruição da subjetividade consigo (...) própria através do instante do prazer sensual em um movimento que implica a sedução como esforço de conquista de si que, contudo, escapa ao seu poder em uma relação que converge para o desespero, haja vista que a renovação de forma indefinida da condição originária do amor esgota-se na generalização. E se o estágio ético encerra a integração na comunidade social através da institucionalização da repetição como um modo de vida baseado na objetividade e na racionalidade, a conformação do sujeito ao modus vivendi e ao modus essendi do geral implica a harmonização da sua subjetividade com a generalidade do bem e do mal por meio de um processo que torna-se incapaz de resolver a questão da sua desordem existencial. Assim sendo, o artigo mostra que, se a virtude moral que o ético impõe converge para a impossibilidade de superação do desespero que caracteriza a busca do absoluto na imanência, a atitude religiosa, abdicando da realidade em sua totalidade finita em função da relação absoluta com o Absoluto, demanda a suspensão teleológica do ético e tende a instaurar a autenticidade existencial através de um movimento que mantém correspondência com a fé como o “salto” que implica a consciência de si em sua singularidade e a espiritualidade individual. (shrink)
According to the Causal Theory of Action (CTA), genuine actions are individuated by their causal history. Actions are bodily movements that are causally explained by citing the agent’s reasons. Reasons are then explained as some combination of propositional attitudes – beliefs, desires, and/or intentions. The CTA is thus committed to realism about the attitudes. This paper explores current models of decision-making from the mind sciences, and argues that it is far from obvious how to locate the propositional attitudes in the (...) causal processes they describe. The outcome of the analysis is a proposal for pluralism: there are several ways one could attempt to map states like “intention” onto decision-making processes, but none will fulfill all of the roles attributed to the attitudes by the CTA. (shrink)
We consider a puzzle in the question semantics literature. The puzzle concerns data when 'know' embeds interrogative complements. For the exhaustive strength in the literature known as intermediately exhaustive, first person ascriptions don't seem to exist, but third person do. By arguing against the only solution in the literature, we suggest that the puzzle is more interesting than previously thought. We provide a compositional semantics for 'know' where the interpretation of 'know' is relativized to an information state. The proposed semantics, (...) we think, is compatible with relativism and nonindexical contextualism, but we opt for relativism for its relative ease in capturing disagreement data we provide. (shrink)
In this paper, I will present a puzzle for logical analyses, such as Russell’s analysis of definite descriptions and Recanati’s analysis of ‘that’-clauses. I will argue that together with Kripke’s disquotational principles connecting sincere assent and belief such non-trivial logical analyses lead to contradictions. Following this, I will compare the puzzle about logical analysis with Frege’s puzzle about belief ascriptions. We will see that although the two puzzles do have similarities, the solutions to Frege’s puzzle cannot be applied mutatis mutandis (...) to the puzzle about logical analysis. Hence, to say it with Kripke, the main thesis of this paper is that the puzzle is a puzzle. A complete solution to the puzzle promises a better understanding of both logical analyses and belief ascriptions. (shrink)
In Making it Explicit Robert Brandom claims that perspectivally hybrid de re attitude ascriptions explain what an agent actually did, from the point of view of the ascriber, whether or not that was what the agent intended to do. There is a well-known problem, however, first brought to attention by Quine, but curiously ignored by Brandom, that threatens to undermine the role of de re ascriptions in the explanation of action, a problem that stems directly from the fact that, unlike (...) de dicto ascriptions, they permit the attribution of inconsistent attitudes to agents. I propose a solution to the problem which I believe is consistent with Brandom’s approach to the nature of intentionality and the explanation of action. (shrink)
This handbook comprises, in three volumes, an in-depth presentation of the state of the art in linguistic semantics from a wide variety of perspectives. It contains 112 articles written by leading scholars from around the world. These articles present detailed, yet accessible, introductions to key issues, including the analysis of specific semantic categories and constructions, the history of semantic research, theories and theoretical frameworks, methodology, and relationships with related fields; moreover, they give expert guidance on topics of debate within the (...) field, on the strengths and weaknesses of existing theories, and on the likely directions for the future development of semantic research. In many cases, the articles written for this handbook promise to become the standard references on the topics they cover. This work will provide an essential reference for both advanced students and researchers in semantics and related fields within linguistics, psychology, philosophy, and other areas. (shrink)
Commonsense psychological explanation of action upon objects seems to require not only reference to agents’ demonstrative beliefs about the objects acted upon but also the de re ascription of these demonstrative beliefs. There is an influential objection, however, to the de re component: since de re ascriptions permit the attribution to agents of inconsistent attitudes about the objects acted upon, they cannot explain (or predict) agents’ actions upon those objects. This paper answers the objection by presenting a contextualist theory of (...) de re action explanation according to which agents’ beliefs about objects are logically fragmented. (shrink)
This paper gives an outline of truthmaker semantics for natural language against the background of standard possible-worlds semantics. It develops a truthmaker semantics for attitude reports and deontic modals based on an ontology of attitudinal and modal objects and on a semantic function of clauses as predicates of such objects. It also présents new motivations for 'object-based truthmaker semantics' from intensional transitive verbs such as ‘need’, ‘look for’, ‘own’, and ‘buy’ and gives an outline of their semantics. This paper is (...) a commissioned 'target' article, with commentaries by W. Davis, B. Arsenijevic, K. Moulton, K. Liefke, M. Kaufmann, R. Matthews, P. Portner and A. Rubinstein, P. Elliott, G. Ramchand and my reply. (shrink)
Epistemic contextualism in the style of Lewis (1996) maintains that ascriptions of knowledge to a subject vary in truth with the alternatives that can be eliminated by the subject’s evidence in a context. Schaffer (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2015), Schaffer and Knobe (2012), and Schaffer and Szabo ́ (2014) hold that the question under discussion or QUD always determines these alternatives in a context. This paper shows that the QUD does not perform such a role for "know" and uses this (...) result to draw a few lessons about the metasemantics of context- sensitivity. (shrink)
This book marks the first publication of celebrated philosopher Donald Davidson's 1970 Locke Lectures. In detailing his work on the theory of meaning, the role of a truth theory, the ontological commitments of a truth theory, and the notion of logical form, these lectures offer a rare insight into Davidson's thought at a key moment in his career.
This paper defends the view that attitudinal objects such as claims, beliefs, judgments, and requests form an ontological category of its own sharply distinguished from that of events and states and that of propositions. Attitudinal objects play a central role in attitude reports and avoid the conceptual and empirical problems for propositions. Unlike the latter, attitudinal objects bear a particular connection to normativity. The paper will also discuss the syntactic basis of a semantics of attitude reports based on attitudinal objects.
This paper defends an account of full belief, including an account of its relationship to credence. Along the way, I address several familiar and difficult questions about belief. Does fully believing a proposition require having maximal confidence in it? Are rational beliefs closed under entailment, or does the preface paradox show that rational agents can believe inconsistent propositions? Does whether you believe a proposition depend partly on your practical interests? My account of belief resolves the tension between conflicting answers to (...) these questions that have been defended in the literature. In addition, my account complements fruitful probabilistic theories of assertion and knowledge. (shrink)
It is often assumed that singular thought requires that an agent be epistemically acquainted with the object the thought is about. However, it can sometimes truthfully be said of someone that they have a belief about an object, despite not being interestingly epistemically acquainted with that object. In defense of an epistemic acquaintance constraint on singular thought, it is thus often claimed that belief ascriptions are context sensitive and do not always track the contents of an agent’s mental states. This (...) paper uses first-person attitude reports to argue that contextualism about belief ascriptions does not present an adequate defense of an acquaintance constraint on singular thought. (shrink)
This paper argues for the philosophical and semantic importance of attitudinal objects, entities such as judgments, claims, beliefs, demands, and desires, as an ontological category distinct from that of events and states and from that of propositions. The paper presents significant revisions and refinements of the notion of an attitudinal object as it was developed in my previous work.
We introduce a number of logics to reason about collective propositional attitudes that are defined by means of the majority rule. It is well known that majoritarian aggregation is subject to irrationality, as the results in social choice theory and judgment aggregation show. The proposed logics for modelling collective attitudes are based on a substructural propositional logic that allows for circumventing inconsistent outcomes. Individual and collective propositional attitudes, such as beliefs, desires, obligations, are then modelled by means of minimal modalities (...) to ensure a number of basic principles. In this way, a viable consistent modelling of collective attitudes is obtained. (shrink)
When we discuss normative reasons, oughts, requirements of rationality, hypothetical imperatives (or “anankastic conditionals”), motivating reasons and so on, we often use verbs like “believe” and “want” to capture a relevant subject’s perspective. According to the received view about sentences involving these verbs, what they do is describe the subject’s mental states. Many puzzles concerning normative discourse have to do with the role that mental states consequently appear to play in this discourse. This book uses tools from formal semantics and (...) the philosophy of language to develop an alternative account of sentences involving these verbs. According to this view, which is called parentheticalism (in honour of J. O. Urmson), we very commonly use these verbs in a parenthetical sense. Used with this sense, these verbs themselves express backgrounded side-remarks on the contents they embed, and these latter, embedded contents constitute the at-issue contents of our utterances. This means that instead of speaking about the subject’s mental states, we often use sentences involving “believe” and “want” to speak about the world in a way that, in the conversational background, relates our utterances to her point of view. This idea is made precise, and it is used to solve various puzzles concerning normative discourse. The final result is a new, unified understanding of normative discourse, which gets by without postulating conceptual breaks between objective and subjective normative reasons, or normative reasons and rationality, or indeed between the reasons we ascribe to an agent and the reasons she herself can be expected to cite. Instead of being connected to either subjective mental states or objective facts, all of these normative statuses can be adequately articulated by citing worldly considerations from the subject’s point of view. (shrink)
This paper is the twin of (Duží and Jespersen, in submission), which provides a logical rule for transparent quantification into hyperprop- ositional contexts de dicto, as in: Mary believes that the Evening Star is a planet; therefore, there is a concept c such that Mary be- lieves that what c conceptualizes is a planet. Here we provide two logical rules for transparent quantification into hyperpropositional contexts de re. (As a by-product, we also offer rules for possible- world propositional contexts.) One (...) rule validates this inference: Mary believes of the Evening Star that it is a planet; therefore, there is an x such that Mary believes of x that it is a planet. The other rule validates this inference: the Evening Star is such that it is believed by Mary to be a planet; therefore, there is an x such that x is believed by Mary to be a planet. Issues unique to the de re variant include partiality and existential presupposition, sub- stitutivity of co-referential (as opposed to co-denoting or synony- mous) terms, anaphora, and active vs. passive voice. The validity of quantifying-in presupposes an extensional logic of hyperinten- sions preserving transparency and compositionality in hyperinten- sional contexts. This requires raising the bar for what qualifies as co-denotation or equivalence in extensional contexts. Our logic is Tichý’s Transparent Intensional Logic. The syntax of TIL is the typed lambda calculus; its highly expressive semantics is based on a procedural redefinition of, inter alia, functional abstraction and application. The two non-standard features we need are a hyper- intension (called Trivialization) that presents other hyperintensions and a four-place substitution function (called Sub) defined over hy- perintensions. (shrink)
In a range of recent and not so recent work, I have developed a novel semantics of attitude reports on which the notion of an attitudinal object or cognitive product takes center stage, that is, entities such as thoughts claims and decisions. The purpose of this note is to give a brief summary of this account against the background of the standard semantics of attitude reports and to show that the various sorts of criticism that Felappi recently advanced against it (...) are mistaken. (shrink)
Contra Ezcurdia, it is argued that my thesis --that substitution of coreferential names or indexicals in attitude ascriptions preserves truth values of propositions semantically expressed, although it often changes truth values of propositions asserted-- is compatible with the fact that belief ascriptions play important explanatory roles. Contra Gomez-Torrente, it is argued that although single-word natural kind terms are rigid in Kripke's original sense, natural kind predicates containing them are neither rigid nor obstinately essential --in the sense of applying to the (...) same individuals in every possible world-state, whether those individuals exist at the world-state or not. /// Contra Ezcurdia, se argumenta que mi tesis de que la sustitución de nombres o deícticos correferenciales en adscripciones de actitudes proposicionales preserva los valores de verdad de las proposiciones expresadas semánticamente, aunque a menudo cambia los valores de verdad de las proposiciones aseveradas, es compatible con el hecho de que las adscripciones de creencias desempeñan papeles explicativos importantes. Contra GómezTorrente, se argumenta que aunque los tèrminos de clase natural de una sola palabra son rígidos en el sentido original de Kripke, los predicados de clase natural que los contienen no son ni rigidos ni obstinadamente esenciales, en el sentido de que se aplican a los mismos individuos en todos los mundos posibles, sea que esos individuos existan o no existan en ese mundo. (shrink)
In this paper I take a careful look at Nathan Salmon’s translation argument from his paper “The Very Possibility of Language: A Sermon on Missing Church” to see if it proves as much as Salmon claims. In particular, should we consider the translation argument conclusive evidence that belief ascriptions must be relations between individuals and propositions and that a sentential account is completely inadequate? I don’t think so. Salmon is too quick to dismiss the sentential account on the basis of (...) the translation argument. I will argue that for Salmon to truly give a convincing argument, he needs to give a more complete defense of his intuitions concerning translation and quotation. I aim to accomplish this by re-examining the work of Steven Leeds and Tyler Burge, whose arguments Salmon writes off without adequate grounds. (shrink)