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

Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (5):429--474 (2009)
Abstract
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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References found in this work BETA
Dorit Abusch (1997). Sequence of Tense and Temporal de Re. Linguistics and Philosophy 20 (1):1-50.
Gennaro Chierchia (1989). Anaphora and Attitudes de Se. In Renate Bartsch, J. F. A. K. van Benthem & P. van Emde Boas (eds.), Semantics and Contextual Expression. Foris Publications. 11--1.

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