Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (5):429--474 (2009)

Emar Maier
University of Groningen
This paper deals with the semantics of de dicto , de re and de se belief reports. First, I flesh out in some detail the established, classical theories that assume syntactic distinctions between all three types of reports. I then propose a new, unified analysis, based on two ideas discarded by the classical theory. These are: (i) modeling the de re/de dicto distinction as a difference in scope, and (ii) analyzing de se as merely a special case of relational de re attitudes. The resurrection of these ideas takes place in a dynamic setting. My formalization of the first idea involves a modification of the presupposition-as-anaphora resolution algorithm for DRT. The second involves treating acquaintance relations as second-order presuppositions, to be bound in the context by means of higher-order unification, or accommodated if necessary. The resulting framework requires no syntactic distinctions between different modes of attitude, with the exception of a specific subclass of de se reports characterized by special ‘ de se pronouns’ (i.e. PRO and logophors). These special pronouns are handled in syntax; everything alse is passed on to the pragmatic resolution module as it appears on the surface. The more sophisticated contextual resolution process nonetheless ensures adequate output truth conditions for a variety of classical and novel puzzles. In particular, I compare the new pragmasemantic system to the classical, syntactic analysis with respect to iterated and quantified reports, and monstrously shifted indexicals.
Keywords belief reports   de dicto/de re/de se   acquaintance relations   presupposition   DRT
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Reprint years 2010
DOI 10.1007/s10988-010-9065-2
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
Attitudes de Dicto and de Se.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophical Review 88 (4):513-543.
Quantifiers and Propositional Attitudes.Willard van Orman Quine - 1956 - Journal of Philosophy 53 (5):177-187.

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Citations of this work BETA

Parasitic Attitudes.Emar Maier - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (3):205-236.
Quantifying In From a Fregean Perspective.Seth Yalcin - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (2):207-253.

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De Re and de Se in Quantified Belief Reports.Emar Maier - 2005 - In Sylvia Blaho, Luis Vicente & Erik Schoorlemmer (eds.), Proceedings of Console Xiii. pp. 211-29.
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Between de Dicto and de Re: De Objecto Attitudes.Manuel Rebuschi & Tero Tulenheimo - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):828-838.
Do Belief Reports Report Beliefs?Kent Bach - 1997 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):215-241.
Stich againstde dicto‐de reambiguity.Dale Jacquette - 1989 - Philosophical Psychology 2 (2):223-230.


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