Do explanatory desire attributions generate opaque contexts?

Ratio 9 (2):153-170 (1996)
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Many philosophers assert that psychological verbs generate opaque contexts and that the object of a psychological verb cannot be replaced with a co‐referring expression salva veritate as the objects of non‐psychological verbs can be. I argue that the logical and linguistic concerns which govern this assertion do not transfer to observational and experimental situations because the criteria that we use in order to verify that an observed subject has one hypothesized desire rather than another provide inconclusive evidence when we don't allow for all regular substitutions in psychological contexts. This becomes more obvious when we contextualize intentional behavior within the appropriate framework by recognizing that, in order to make sense of any desire attribution, we must understand the subject experiencing the desire to be pursuing each desired situation as a means to a further overarching goal. I conclude that the object of desire should always be read de re.



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Naomi Reshotko
University of Denver

Citations of this work

Plato on the Attribution of Conative Attitudes.Rachana Kamtekar - 2006 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 88 (2):127-162.

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