Ultra-liberal attitude reports

Philosophical Studies 175 (8):2043-2062 (2018)
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Abstract

Although much has been written about the truth-conditions of de re attitude reports, little attention has been paid to certain ‘ultra-liberal’ uses of those reports. We believe that if these uses are legitimate, then a number of interesting consequences for various theses in philosophical semantics follow. The majority of the paper involves describing these consequences. In short, we argue that, if true, ultra-liberal reports: bring counterexamples to a popular approach to de re attitude ascriptions, which we will call ‘descriptivism’; and combine with independently plausible principles about the logic of belief to imply that subjects can achieve omniscience about what exists from the armchair. Although we are not committed to the view that ultra-liberal reports are false, in the final part of the paper we discuss the prospects of pursuing a line according to which the acceptability of such reports ought not be taken at face value. We conclude by arguing that those who are sympathetic with this move might have reason to doubt the truth of an even broader class of acceptable de re attitude reports, namely those that have been taken to undermine orthodox accounts of de re attitude ascriptions.

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Author Profiles

Kyle H. Blumberg
University of Melbourne
Ben Holguín
Johns Hopkins University

Citations of this work

Embedded Attitudes.Kyle Blumberg & Ben Holguín - 2019 - Journal of Semantics 36 (3):377-406.
Revisionist reporting.Kyle Blumberg & Harvey Lederman - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):755-783.
Context as knowledge.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes & Andreas Stokke - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (4):543-563.

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References found in this work

Frege’s Puzzle (2nd edition).Nathan U. Salmon - 1986 - Atascadero, CA: Ridgeview Publishing Company.
Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Attitudes de dicto and de se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
The reference book.John Hawthorne & David Manley - 2012 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by David Manley.

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