Basic questions

Mind and Language 33 (2):130-147 (2018)

Peter Carruthers
University of Maryland, College Park
This paper argues that a set of questioning attitudes are among the foundations of human and animal minds. While both verbal questioning and states of curiosity are generally explained in terms of metacognitive desires for knowledge or true belief, I argue that each is better explained by a prelinguistic sui generis type of mental attitude of questioning. I review a range of considerations in support of such a proposal and improve on previous characterizations of the nature of these attitudes. I then broaden their explanatory scope to include a number of forms of exploratory search. The paper has three main goals: to characterize the nature of the questioning attitudes, outlining their causal role and type of content; to argue that they are fundamental components of the mind, being widespread among animals and not constructed during ontogeny out of other attitudes; and to suggest that they explain a great deal more behavior than one might think.
Keywords affect  curiosity  emotion  interest  metacognition  question  search
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DOI 10.1111/mila.12167
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References found in this work BETA

Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
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The Virtue of Curiosity.Lewis Ross - 2020 - Episteme 17 (1):105-120.

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