Scepticism About Reflexive Intentions Refuted
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 5 (1):69-83 (2009)
The aim of this paper is to resist four arguments, originally developed by Mark Siebel, that seem to support scepticism about reflexive communicative intentions. I argue, first, that despite their complexity reflexive intentions are thinkable mental representations. To justify this claim, I offer an account of the cognitive mechanism that is capable of producing an intention whose content refers to the intention itself. Second, I claim that reflexive intentions can be individuated in terms of their contents. Third, I argue that the explanatory power of the theory of illocutionary reflexive intentions is not as limited as it would initially seem. Finally, I reject the suggestion that the conception of reflexive communicative intentions ascribes to a language user more cognitive abilities than he or she really has.
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