What's the Meaning of 'This'?: A Puzzle About Demonstrative Belief

Cornell University Press (1985)
In recent literature in the philosophy of mind and language, one finds a variety of examples that raise serious problems for the traditional analysis of belief as a two-term relation between a believer and a proposition. My main purpose in this essay is to provide a critical test case for any theory of the propositional attitudes, and to demonstrate that this case really does present an unsolved puzzle. Chapter I defines the traditional, propositional analysis of belief, and then introduces a distinction, motivated by the intuitions that underlie Kripke's arguments for direct reference, between purely qualitative and individual propositions. Beliefs typically expressed using proper names, indexicals or demonstratives appear to relate the believer to individual propositions with the entity that may be referred to as subject constituent. Chapter II presents the critical test case . In this and Chapters III-VI it is used to show that the latter sorts of beliefs are not analyzable as dyadically relating the believer to individual propositions. The case constitutes a genuine counterexample to the traditional analysis only if it is possible for a believer to believe an individual proposition with a contingent thing other than herself as a constituent; and the believer in the case is in optimum conditions for believing an individual proposition. In Chapters III, IV, and VI, I criticize views prompted by rejection of , and in Chapter V, I criticize Stalnaker's view, which rejects . Chapter VI also considers the non-traditional, triadic analyses of belief proposed by Kaplan and Richard; they fall prey to the main criticisms of Chapter V. In the Postscript, I give a comparative assessment of approaches to resolving the Two Tubes Puzzle, and I place it in historical context by pointing out the puzzle's similarities to the 'problem of sense data' . Correlatively, I indicate the bearing of Methodological Solipsism on future attempts to solve the puzzle. My conclusion is that although the puzzle remains a puzzle, it gives us reason to supplement, rather than completely abandon, the use of propositions in the analysis of thought; and I say what a supplementing solution must do to remain faithful to the intuitions of Chapter I
Keywords Belief and doubt  Proposition (Logic
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 1990
Buy the book $8.00 used (78% off)   $61.01 new    Amazon page
Call number BD215.A97 1990
ISBN(s) 0801424097  
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,850
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Mental Graphs.James Pryor - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (2):309-341.
Frege's Puzzle for Perception.Boyd Millar - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):368-392.
Hume and Frege on Identity. [REVIEW]John Perry - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (3):413 - 423.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
4 ( #706,049 of 2,214,135 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #240,364 of 2,214,135 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature