Belief about the self: A defense of the property theory of content * by Neil Feit [Book Review]

Analysis 69 (3):570-572 (2009)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this short, clear and engaging book, Neil Feit defends the unorthodox view that the contents of beliefs and other cognitive attitudes are properties, and not, as is usually held, propositions. The core of his argument has to do with de se beliefs, beliefs about the self. Based on examples and arguments due to Perry , Lewis and Chisholm , along with considerations about internalism and physicalism, Feit offers a battery of arguments for the conclusion that the contents of de se beliefs cannot be propositions and therefore must be properties. For reasons of uniformity and simplicity Feit then extends this conclusion to all beliefs. So, according to Feit, the content of the de se belief that I am a philosopher is the property of being a philosopher, and my having this belief consists in my self-ascribing this property. For de dicto beliefs, believing that p is self-ascribing the property of being such that p, and for de re beliefs, believing that x is F is self-ascribing the property of bearing some relation of acquaintance R to something that is F. For example, to have the de dicto belief that …



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,347

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Selfless Desires and the Property Theory of Content.Neil Feit - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):489-503.
Self-ascription and belief de re.Neil Feit - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 98 (1):35-49.
Rationality and Puzzling Beliefs.Neil Feit - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):29-55.
The Time of Death’s Misfortune.Neil Feit - 2002 - Noûs 36 (3):359–383.
The Structure of Higher Goods.Neil Feit - 2001 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):47-57.
More on brute facts.Neil Feit - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4):625 – 630.
Thought-contents and the formal ontology of sense.Steven E. Boër - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 32 (1):43-114.
Infallibilism and Gettier's legacy. Daniel, Frances Howard-Snyder & Neil Feit - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):304-327.
Justice and the Initial Acquisition of Property.John T. Sanders - 1987 - Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 10 (2):367-99.


Added to PP

120 (#150,989)

6 months
7 (#440,443)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Peter Hanks
University of Minnesota

Citations of this work

Centered communication.Clas Weber - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):205-223.
In Defense of De Se Content.Stephan Torre - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):172-189.
Propositional or Non-Propositional Attitudes?Sean Crawford - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):179-210.
Naming and Nonexistence.Neil Feit - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (3):239-262.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Attitudes de dicto and de se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.

Add more references