Prototypes, belief ascriptions, and ambiguity

Many philosophers have suggested that belief predicates are ambiguous between a de dicto and a de re reading. However, the impression of ambiguity is a function of the narrow ranges of examples that philosophers focus on. When we consider our ascriptional practices as a whole, the suggestion that belief predicates are ambiguous is neither plausible nor needed to explain the de dicto/de re distinction. This paper will argue that understanding paradigmatic de dicto and de re ascriptions in terms of disavowals from a more basic sort of ascription is preferable to positing an ambiguity in which each of the two sorts of ascription are conceptually primitive.
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