A Simple Solution to the Problem of De Se Belief Ascriptions

Communication and Cognition 33 (3-4):199-226 (2000)
Abstract
I show how a de se belief ascription such as "Privatus believes that he himself is rich" may be dealt with by means of a scope distinction over and above that one separating de dicto and de re ascriptions. The idea is, roughly, that 'Privatus...himself' forms in this statement a unity, a single "spread" sign that is at the same time in a de re and de dicto position. If so, H-N. Castañeda's contention that the "quasi-indicator" 'he himself' ('she herself', 'it itself') belongs to a "unique, irreducible logical category" of singular terms is, at best, misleading. Further, my account is superior to the well-known theories of R. Chisholm and D. Lewis, according to which de se ascriptions state that the believer "directly attributes properties to himself or herself". 1. Introduction 2. Chisholm and Lewis on de se belief ascriptions 3. Fregean and Sellarsian theories of belief ascriptions 4. Geach on the reflexive pronoun 5. Admiring and self-admiring 6. A solution to the problem de se belief ascriptions 7. Belief de se 8. Conclusion
Keywords de se  belief ascriptions  quasi-indicator
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