Beliefs and sentences in the head

Synthese 2 (May):201-30 (1989)
It is argued thatde dicto andde re beliefs are attitudes towards syntactically structured entities (sentences) in the head. In order to identify the content of ade dicto orde re belief, we must be able to match causal relations of belief states to natural language inferences. Such match-ups provide sufficient empirical justification for regarding those causal relations as syntactic transformations, that is, inferences. But only syntactically structured entities are capable of enjoying such inferential relations. Hence,de dicto andde re beliefs must be syntactically structured. Given that beliefs are also brain states, it follows that they are sentences in the brain. The argument presented here is shown to be an improvement over similar arguments advanced by Harman and Fodor
Keywords Belief  Causal Explanation  Inference  Language  Sentence
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00869624
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Gilbert Harman (1973). Thought. Princeton University Press.
Robert Stalnaker (1987). Semantics for Belief. Philosophical Topics 15 (1):177-190.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

42 ( #113,991 of 1,902,524 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

18 ( #36,857 of 1,902,524 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.