Presupposing acquaintance: A unified semantics for de dicto, de re and de se belief reports

Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (5):429--474 (2009)
This paper deals with the semantics of de dicto , de re and de se belief reports. First, I flesh out in some detail the established, classical theories that assume syntactic distinctions between all three types of reports. I then propose a new, unified analysis, based on two ideas discarded by the classical theory. These are: (i) modeling the de re/de dicto distinction as a difference in scope, and (ii) analyzing de se as merely a special case of relational de re attitudes. The resurrection of these ideas takes place in a dynamic setting. My formalization of the first idea involves a modification of the presupposition-as-anaphora resolution algorithm for DRT. The second involves treating acquaintance relations as second-order presuppositions, to be bound in the context by means of higher-order unification, or accommodated if necessary. The resulting framework requires no syntactic distinctions between different modes of attitude, with the exception of a specific subclass of de se reports characterized by special ‘ de se pronouns’ (i.e. PRO and logophors). These special pronouns are handled in syntax; everything alse is passed on to the pragmatic resolution module as it appears on the surface. The more sophisticated contextual resolution process nonetheless ensures adequate output truth conditions for a variety of classical and novel puzzles. In particular, I compare the new pragmasemantic system to the classical, syntactic analysis with respect to iterated and quantified reports, and monstrously shifted indexicals.
Keywords belief reports   de dicto/de re/de se   acquaintance relations   presupposition   DRT
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-010-9065-2
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References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1979). Attitudes de Dicto and de Se. Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Philippe Schlenker (2003). A Plea for Monsters. Linguistics and Philosophy 26 (1):29-120.

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Emar Maier (2015). Parasitic Attitudes. Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (3):205-236.

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