Selfless Desires and the Property Theory of Content

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):489-503 (2010)
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The property theory of content takes the content of each cognitive attitude (each belief, desire, and so on) to be a property to which the subject of the attitude is related in the appropriate psychological way. This view is motivated by standard cases of de se belief and other attitudes. In this paper, I consider a couple of related objections to the property theory of content. Both objections have to do with the possible non-existence of the subject. More specifically, the objections are based on attitudes, the contents of which entail the non-existence of their subjects, and also on attitudes that commit their subjects to preferences regarding situations in which the subjects do not exist. I show that the property theory can answer these objections adequately, and I argue that my answer to the objections is more plausible than other possible responses.



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Neil Feit
Fredonia State University

Citations of this work

Belief Reports and the Property Theory of Content.Neil Feit - 2013 - In Neil Feit & Alessandro Capone (eds.), Attitudes De Se: Linguistics, Epistemology, Metaphysics. CSLI Publications. pp. 105-31.
Careful What You Wish.John Beverley - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (1):21-38.

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