Some Remarks On Propositional Attitudes and Mutual Assumptions. A Re-construction of an Aphorism by Ronald D. Laing
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The problem of multiple operating epistemic modalities in the interaction of propositional attitudes within mutual assumptions in communication, raised by Ronald D. Laing in an aphorism in his opus "Knots", shall be analysed in a rough symbolic notation. We shall start with looking at an aphorism by Laing that runs as: "If I don't know I don't know, I think I know. If I don't know I know, I think I don't know." The field of application for Laing's aphorism as well as for my approach is interpersonal communication and hence belongs to the realm of psychological phenomena. My philosophical contribution consists in giving my logical analysis via negationis, i.e. we shall encounter a sketch for a reductio ad absurdum. To outcome will be the refutation of certain assumptions we originally attempted to set off with. But the result is not completely negative, since it leads to a plea, firstly, for giving up a purely formal analysis of pragmatics and, secondly, for interpersonal experience as a cornerstone of pragmatic phenomena in the realm of communication between human beings
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