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Propositional Attitudes

Assistant editor: Steve Pearce (University of Western Ontario)
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Subcategories:History/traditions: Propositional Attitudes

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  1. Quantificational Attitudes.Benjamin Lennertz - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (11):585-613.
    The literature contains a popular argument in favor of the position that conditional attitudes are not simple attitudes with conditional contents but, rather, have a more complex structure. In this paper I show that an analogous argument applies to what we might call quantificational attitudes—like an intention to follow every bit of good advice I receive or a desire to get rabies shots for each bite I incur from an infected bat. The conditions under which these attitudes are satisfied and (...)
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  2. The Relationship Between Conscious and Unconscious Intentionality.Raamy Majeed - forthcoming - Philosophy.
    The contemporary view of the relationship between conscious and unconscious intentionality consists in two claims: (i) unconscious propositional attitudes represent the world the same way conscious ones do, and (ii) both sets of attitudes represent by having determinate propositional content. Crane (2017) has challenged both claims, proposing instead that unconscious propositional attitudes differ from conscious ones in being less determinate in nature. This paper aims to evaluate Crane’s proposal. In particular, I make explicit and critique certain assumptions Crane makes in (...)
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  3. That Solution to Prior's Puzzle.Hüseyin Güngör - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Prior's puzzle is a puzzle about the substitution of certain putatively synonymous or coreferential expressions in sentences. Prior's puzzle is important, because a satisfactory solution to it should constitute a crucial part of an adequate semantic theory for both proposition-embedding expressions and attitudinal verbs. I argue that two recent solutions to this puzzle are unsatisfactory. They either focus on the meaning of attitudinal verbs or content nouns. I propose a solution relying on a recent analysis of that-clauses in linguistics. Our (...)
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  4. A Philosophically Neutral Semantics for Perception Sentences.Samuele Iaquinto & Giuseppe Spolaore - forthcoming - Theoria.
    Jaakko Hintikka proposed treating objectual perception sentences, such as ‘Alice sees Bob’, as de re propositional perception sentences. Esa Saarinen extended Hintikka’s idea to eventive perception sentences, such as ‘Alice sees Bob smile’. These approaches, elegant as they may be, are not philosophically neutral, for they presuppose, controversially, that the content of all perceptual experiences is propositional in nature. The aim of this paper is to propose a formal treatment of objectual and eventive perception sentences that builds on Hintikka’s modal (...)
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  5. Private Investigators and Public Speakers.Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Near the end of 'Naming the Colours', Lewis (1997) makes an interesting claim about the relationship between linguistic and mental content; we are typically unable to read the content of a belief off the content of a sentence used to express that belief or vice versa. I call this view autonomism. I motivate and defend autonomism and discuss its importance in the philosophy of mind and language. In a nutshell, I argue that the different theoretical roles that mental and linguistic (...)
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  6. Higher‐Order Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba - 2021 - Wiley: Philosophy Compass 16 (10):1-11.
    Subverting a once widely held Quinean paradigm, there is a growing consensus among philosophers of logic that higher-order quantifiers (which bind variables in the syntactic position of predicates and sentences) are a perfectly legitimate and useful instrument in the logico-philosophical toolbox, while neither being reducible to nor fully explicable in terms of first-order quantifiers (which bind variables in singular term position). This article discusses the impact of this quantificational paradigm shift on metaphysics, focussing on theories of properties, propositions, and identity, (...)
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  7. Modes of Truth: The Unified Approach to Truth, Modality, and Paradox.Carlo Nicolai & Johannes Stern (eds.) - 2021 - Routledge.
    The aim of this volume is to open up new perspectives and to raise new research questions about a unified approach to truth, modalities, and propositional attitudes. The volume's essays are grouped thematically around different research questions. The first theme concerns the tension between the theoretical role of the truth predicate in semantics and its expressive function in language. The second theme of the volume concerns the interaction of truth with modal and doxastic notions. The third theme covers higher-order solutions (...)
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  8. The Extended Mind Argument Against Phenomenal Intentionality.Cody Turner - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20:1-28.
    This paper offers a novel argument against the phenomenal intentionality thesis (or PIT for short). The argument, which I’ll call the extended mind argument against phenomenal intentionality, is centered around two claims: the first asserts that some source intentional states extend into the environment, while the second maintains that no conscious states extend into the environment. If these two claims are correct, then PIT is false, for PIT implies that the extension of source intentionality is predicated upon the extension of (...)
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  9. To Believe is Not to Think: A Cross-Cultural Finding.Neil Van Leeuwen, Kara Weisman & Tanya Luhrmann - 2021 - Open Mind 5:91-99.
    Are religious beliefs psychologically different from matter-of-fact beliefs? Many scholars say no: that religious people, in a matter-of-fact way, simply think their deities exist. Others say yes: that religious beliefs are more compartmentalized, less certain, and less responsive to evidence. Little research to date has explored whether lay people themselves recognize such a difference. We addressed this question in a series of sentence completion tasks, conducted in five settings that differed both in religious traditions and in language: the US, Ghana, (...)
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  10. The Possibility of Epistemic Nudging.Thomas Grundmann - forthcoming - Social Epistemology:1-11.
    Typically, nudging is a technique for steering the choices of people without giving reasons or using enforcement. In benevolent cases, it is used when people are insufficiently responsive to reason. The nudger triggers automatic cognitive mechanisms—sometimes even biases—in smart ways in order to push irrational people in the right direction. Interestingly, this technique can also be applied to doxastic attitudes. Someone who is doxastically unresponsive to evidence can be nudged into forming true beliefs or doxastic attitudes that are propositionally justified. (...)
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  11. Self-Locating Content in Visual Experience and the "Here-Replacement" Account.Jonathan Mitchell - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (4):188-213.
    According to the Self-Location Thesis, certain types of visual experiences have self-locating and so first-person, spatial contents. Such self-locating contents are typically specified in relational egocentric terms. So understood, visual experiences provide support for the claim that there is a kind of self-consciousness found in experiential states. This paper critically examines the Self-Location Thesis with respect to dynamic-reflexive visual experiences, which involve the movement of an object toward the location of the perceiving subject. The main aim of this paper is (...)
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  12. Von der Möglichkeit des moralischen Subjektivismus. Eine Untersuchung zum Einstellungscharakter von Moral und Religion [On the possibility of moral subjectivism. An enquiry into the attitudinality of morality and religion].Michael Oliva Córdoba - forthcoming - Methodus.
    Moral subjectivism is commonly associated with out-of-favour theories like, e.g., Alfred Ayer’s emotivism or John Mackie’s error theory. This paper approaches the field against the background of the attitudinal character of morality and religion. The possibility of a brand of moral subjectivism is established which is common to Ayer’s and Mackie’s theories in name only yet still has significant merits. The perspective from action theory and the philosophy of mind suggests that the problem of moral obligation, central to moral philosophy, (...)
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  13. Expressivism, Inferentialism, and the Status of Attitudes.Krzysztof Poslajko - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    The aim of this paper is to show that expressivism about attitudes is not a tenable position. Although this claim has been often made in the literature, traditional arguments against attitudinal expressivism assumed a dated form of expressivism. In order to show that ascriptions of attitudes cannot be seen as expressive in either of them, the paper discusses two more recent versions of expressivism: quasi-realism and inferentialist expressivism. Quasi-realism escapes traditional arguments against attitudinal expressivism because it allows expressive statements to (...)
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  14. Handbook of the History and Philosophy of Logic Vol. 10: Inductive Logic.Dov M. Gabbay, Stephan Hartmann & John Woods (eds.) - 2011 - Elsevier.
    Inductive Logic is number ten in the 11-volume Handbook of the History of Logic. While there are many examples were a science split from philosophy and became autonomous (such as physics with Newton and biology with Darwin), and while there are, perhaps, topics that are of exclusively philosophical interest, inductive logic — as this handbook attests — is a research field where philosophers and scientists fruitfully and constructively interact. This handbook covers the rich history of scientific turning points in Inductive (...)
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  15. Propositions Are Not Representational.Thomas D. Brown - 2021 - Synthese (1-2):1-16.
    It is often presumed by those who use propositions in their theories that propositions are representational; that is, that propositions represent the world as being some way. This paper makes two claims against this presumption. First, it argues that it does not follow from the fact that propositions play the theoretical roles usually attributed to them that they are representational. This conclusion is reached by rebutting three arguments that can be made in support of the claim that propositions are representational. (...)
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  16. That‐Clauses: Some Bad News for Relationalism About the Attitudes.Robert J. Matthews - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Propositional relationalists about the attitudes claim to find support for their view in what they assume to be the dyadic relational logical form of the predicates by which we canonically attribute propositional attitudes. In this paper I argue that the considerations that they adduce in support of this assumption, specifically for the assumption that the that-clauses that figure in these predicates are singular terms, are suspect on linguistic grounds. Propositional relationalism may nonetheless be true, but the logical form of attitude (...)
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  17. Copula is an Intuitive Predicate of Consciousness on Fulfilment of Knowing and Judging Acts.Kiran Pala - 2020 - Humanit Soc Sci Commun 121 (7).
    The recent investigations into knowledge and its elements viz facts, skills and objects have become prominent in various subfields of philosophy and other areas like linguistics, cognitive science, neuroscience and artificial intelligence. These investigations have been mainly on understanding the relation between the intentionality and its referential entities to know how they enrich knowledge with their existence. This article starts with an exploration of the fundamental aspects of judgemental sense from the knowledge origins perspective. To explain the consequences of this, (...)
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  18. Propositional Attitudes as Self-Ascriptions.Angela Mendelovici - 2020 - In Luis R. G. Oliveira & Kevin Corcoran (eds.), Common Sense Metaphysics: Themes From the Philosophy of Lynne Rudder Baker. Oxford, UK: Routledge. pp. 54-74.
    According to Lynne Rudder Baker’s Practical Realism, we know that we have beliefs, desires, and other propositional attitudes independent of any scientific investigation. Propositional attitudes are an indispensable part of our everyday conception of the world and not in need of scientific validation. This paper asks what is the nature of the attitudes such that we may know them so well from a commonsense perspective. I argue for a self-ascriptivist view, on which we have propositional attitudes in virtue of ascribing (...)
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  19. Review of Jaszczolt (1999): Discourse, Beliefs and Intentions: Semantic Defaults and Propositional Attitude Ascription. [REVIEW]Alessandro Capone - 2001 - Pragmatics and Cognition 9 (2):365-372.
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  20. Review of Jaszczolt (2000): The Pragmatics of Propositional Attitude Reports. [REVIEW]Graeme Forbes - 2001 - Pragmatics and Cognition 9 (2):372-380.
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  21. Review of Jaszczolt (2000): The Pragmatics of Propositional Attitude Reports. [REVIEW]Graeme Forbes - 2001 - Pragmatics and Cognition 9 (2):372-380.
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  22. Review of Bunt & Black (2000): Abduction, Belief and Context in Dialogue—Studies in Computational Pragmatics. [REVIEW]Eli Dresner - 2003 - Pragmatics and Cognition 11 (2):390-394.
  23. Activity and Passivity in Reflective Agency 1.Paul Katsafanas - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:219.
    Many philosophers maintain that there is a distinction between acts that the agent plays an active role in producing, and acts that issue from the agent in a more passive fashion. According to the standard account, we can make sense of this distinction by maintaining that reflective or deliberative acts are paradigmatic cases of an agent’s playing an active role in the production of action. This chapter argues that this standard account is mistaken. Reflective or deliberative actions will seem to (...)
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  24. New Essays on Belief: Constitution, Content and Structure.Nikolaj Nottelmann (ed.) - 2013 - Palgrave.
    What are beliefs and what roles do they play in our behavioral and cognitive economies? Those questions are central issues not only for epistemology, but also for philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of action, and philosophy of religion, to mention only a few fields. The authors in this volume of specially commissioned essays address them from a variety of perspectives, drawing on important classical and contemporary work on mental content, the nature of intentionality, the psychology of delusions, the (...)
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  25. A Dispositional Approach to the Attitudes.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2013 - In N. Nottelmann (ed.), New Essays on Belief. Palgrave. pp. 75-99.
    I argue that to have an attitude is, primarily, (1.) to have a dispositional profile that matches, to an appropriate degree and in appropriate respects, a stereotype for that attitude, typically grounded in folk psychology, and secondarily, (2.) in some cases also to meet further stereotypical attitude-specific conditions. To have an attitude, on the account I will recommend here, is mainly a matter of being apt to interact with the world in patterns that ordinary people would regard as characteristic of (...)
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  26. A Grammar for the Mind: Time Embodied and Disembodied.B. Kotchoubey - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (7-8):66-88.
    A philosophical idea about a particular relation of humans to time has found its recent psychological development in the form of the hypothesis that at some age point human children acquire a specific ability to describe the past and to think about the future, while animals do not possess this ability but are 'stuck in time'. On the other hand, animals definitely possess memory, and their behaviour constitutes a set of anticipations. A solution of this contradiction is proposed on the (...)
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  27. Wittgenstein's Attitudes.Fabien Schang - 2008 - In Alexander Hieke & Hannes Leitgeb (eds.), Reduktion und Elimination in Philosophie und den Wissenschaften. pp. 289-291.
    What's wrong with modalities in (Wittgenstein 1922)? In (Suszko 1968), the writer argued that "Wittgenstein was somewhat confused and wrong in certain points. For example, he did not see the clear-cut distinction between language (theory) and metalanguage (metatheory): a confusion between use and mention of expressions". Furthermore, a modal logic was proposed in (von Wright 1986) as depicting Wittgenstein's bipolarity thesis in a S5 frame. -/- The aim of the present paper is to deal with the specific case of epistemic (...)
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  28. Espace logique et modalités chez Wittgenstein.Fabien Schang - 2014 - AL-Mukhatabat 9:230-242.
    L'article s'intéresse aux obstacles épistémologiques qui empêchèrent Wittgenstein d'admettre l'idée moderne de logique modale et, en particulier, les logiques d'attitudes propositionnelles. Tout en proposant un aperçu rétrospectif de la logique des modalités épistémiques, nous verrons que ces obstacles reposent avant tout sur la nature de l'espace logique présenté dans le Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus et le statut métaphysique du sujet. Des passages éclairants seront rappelés pour justi.
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  29. Les attitudes russelliennes.Fabien Schang - 2017 - Cahiers de Philosophie de L’Université de Caen 54:149-168.
    Russell prétend qu’un examen des croyances est indispensable pour définir nos raisonnements quotidiens et comprendre ce que les philosophes entendent par la notion de vérité. Cela étant, l’auteur considère qu’une étude de ces croyances n’a aucun rapport avec la logique, laquelle concerne uniquement le vrai et le faux. En d’autres termes, Russell associe croyance et psychologie tout en réservant le domaine de la logique au thème de la proposition, vraie ou fausse par définition. Une certaine théorie de la vérité sous-tend (...)
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  30. Review Essays: The Common Mind: An Essay on Psychology, Society and PoliticsThe Common Mind: An Essay on Psychology, Society and Politics. [REVIEW]Huw Price & Philip Pettit - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (3):689.
    The dustjacket of The Common Mind bears a photograph of the traffic at a Sydney intersection on a wet winter’s evening in 1938. It is rush hour, and the homeward traffic conveys a fine sense of common purpose. The scene has a special resonance for me, for I stood at that very spot with my parents and brothers one similar evening in 1966, on the day we first arrived in Australia. There was a marked pedestrian crossing there then, which we (...)
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  31. Bilgrami’s Theory of Belief and Meaning.Gary Ebbs & Akeel Bilgrami - 1998 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):613.
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  32. Probabilistic Knowledge.Sarah Moss - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Traditional philosophical discussions of knowledge have focused on the epistemic status of full beliefs. In this book, Moss argues that in addition to full beliefs, credences can constitute knowledge. For instance, your .4 credence that it is raining outside can constitute knowledge, in just the same way that your full beliefs can. In addition, you can know that it might be raining, and that if it is raining then it is probably cloudy, where this knowledge is not knowledge of propositions, (...)
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  33. Which Witch is Which? Exotic Objects and Intentional Identity.Alexander Sandgren - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):721-739.
    This paper is about intentional identity, the phenomenon of intentional attitudes having a common focus. I present an argument against an approach to explaining intentional identity, defended by Nathan Salmon, Terence Parsons and others, that involves positing exotic objects. For example, those who adopt this sort of view say that when two astronomers had beliefs about Vulcan, their attitudes had a common focus because there is an exotic object that both of their beliefs were about. I argue that countenancing these (...)
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  34. II.—On a Defect in the Customary Logical Formulation of Inductive Reasoning.Bernard Bosanquet - 1911 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 11 (1):29-40.
  35. Quine on Logic, Propositional Attitudes, and the Unity of Knowledge.André Leclerc - 2003 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 7 (1-2):131-145.
    I shall examine Quine’s conception of logic, of propositional attitudes, and of the unity of knowledge in order to show that there are some tensions in Quine’s system. I first propose a conception of the use or application of logic, stating that logic strictly speaking applies to intentional phenomena or to things that presuppose the existence of intentional phenomena. Then, I consider briefly Quine’s philosophy of logic and discuss some issues. In Quine’s philosophy, logic stays at the very center of (...)
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  36. Informative Aboutness.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):354-364.
    Pretheoretically, ‘all believers are immortal’ is about all believers, but B is not about any unbeliever. Similarly, ‘all mortals are unbelievers’ is not about any immortal, but M is about all mortals. But B and M are logically equivalent universal generalizations, so arguably they are about exactly the same objects; by, they are about those mortals who are unbelievers, contradicting. If one responds by giving up, is there still a sense in which B treats unbelievers differently from believers? I argue (...)
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  37. Propositional Attitude, Affective Attitude and Irony Comprehension.Francisco Yus - 2016 - Pragmatics Cognition 23 (1):92-116.
    According to relevance theory, irony comprehension invariably entails the identification of some opinion or thought and the identification of the speaker’s dissociative attitude. In this paper, it is argued that it is also essential for hearers to identify not only that propositional attitude, but also the affective attitude that the speaker holds towards the source of this echo so that an optimallyrelevant interpretive outcomeis achieved. This notion comprises feelings and emotions of a non-propositional quality which affect the propositional effects obtained (...)
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  38. Objects of Thought? On the Usual Way Out of Prior’s Objection to the Relational Theory of Propositional Attitude Sentences.Giulia Felappi - 2016 - Analysis 76 (4):438-444.
    Traditionally, ‘that’-clauses occurring in attitude attributions are taken to denote the objects of the attitudes. Prior raised a famous problem: even if Frege fears that the Begriffsschrift leads to a paradox, it is unlikely that he fears a proposition, a sentence or what have you as the alleged object denoted by the ‘that’-clause. The usual way out is to say that ‘that’-clauses do not contribute the objects of the attitudes but their contents. I will show that, if we accept this (...)
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  39. Belief Policies.L. Jonathan Cohen - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (3):736-738.
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  40. An Essay on Belief and Acceptance.Louis P. Pojman - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (2):496-498.
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  41. Having Know‐How: Intellect, Action, and Recent Work on Ryle's Distinction Between Knowledge‐How and Knowledge‐That.Greg Sax - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):507-530.
    Stanley and Williamson reject Ryle's knowing‐how/knowing‐that distinction charging that it obstructs our understanding of human action. Incorrectly interpreting the distinction to imply that knowledge‐how is non‐propositional, they object that Ryle's argument for it is unsound and linguistic theory contradicts it. I show that they misconstrue the distinction and Ryle's argument. Consequently, their objections fail. On my reading, Ryle's distinction pertains to, not knowledge, but an explanatory gap between explicit and implicit content, and his argument for it is sound. I defend (...)
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  42. Reasons and Motivation—Not a Wrong Distinction.Simon Robertson - 2006 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Paperback) 106 (3):391-397.
    This paper responds to Susan Hurley’s attempt to undermine the adequacy of the distinction at the heart of the internalism–externalism debate about reasons for action. The paper shows that Hurley’s argument fails and then, more positively, indicates a neat way to characterize the distinction.
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  43. Measurement‐Theoretic Accounts of Propositional Attitudes.Robert J. Matthews - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):828-841.
    In the late 1970s and early 1980s a number of philosophers, notably Churchland, Field, Stalnaker, Dennett, and Davidson, began to argue that propositional attitude predicates are a species of measure predicate, analogous in important ways to numerical predicates by which we attribute physical magnitudes. Other philosophers, including myself, have subsequently developed the idea in greater detail. In this paper I sketch the general outlines of measurement‐theoretic accounts of propositional attitudes, explaining in the briefest terms the basic idea of such accounts, (...)
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  44. Hume’s Theory of Mental Representation.David Landy - 2012 - Hume Studies 38 (1):23-54.
    Hume’s arguments in the Treatise require him to employ not only the copy principle, which explains the intrinsic properties of perceptions, but also a thesis that explains the representational content of a perception. I propose that Hume holds the semantic copy principle, which states that a perception represents that of which it is a copy. Hume employs this thesis in a number of his most important arguments, and his doing so enables him to answer an important objection concerning the status (...)
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  45. Belief, Simulation and the First Person: Comments on A Study of Concepts by Christopher Peacocke.Jane Heal - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2):413-417.
    In these comments I shall concentrate on one topic, namely Peacocke’s proposals concerning what is involved in possessing the concept of belief. The proposals are, of course, presented by him within the framework of a general theory of concepts, some parts of which are illuminating and others of which are more debatable. But differences about these issues are not germane to what follows and for our purposes I shall assume the correctness of the broad lines of his theory.
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  46. François Recanati’s Oratio Obliqua, Oratio Recta: An Essay on Metarepresentation. [REVIEW]Kirk Ludwig - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):481-488.
    The book is divided into twenty chapters, divided in turn into six parts. Parts I-III contain the main positive account of metarepresentations. The main semantic thesis of parts I-III is that metarepresentational sentences are not relational, but involve a metarepresentational operator applied to a sentence which functions in its usual way, but which is evaluated relative to a “shifted circumstance” in use. This is supposed to represent a novel account of the semantics of attitude sentences that preserves “semantic innocence” and (...)
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  47. The Analogy of Degrees of Being: A Critique of Cajetan’s Analogy of Names.Paul G. Kuntz - 1982 - New Scholasticism 56 (1):51-79.
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  48. Between Thoughts and Things: The Status of Meanings.Thomas D. Sullivan - 1976 - New Scholasticism 50 (1):85-95.
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  49. Group Behaviour and Rationality.Jacob Moreh - 1988 - Social Science Information 27 (1):99-118.
  50. Some Thoughts...; Continued From P. 6.Mark Weinstein - 1988 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 2 (2):9-9.
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