Synthese 159 (2):297 - 314 (2007)

In the late preschool years children acquire a "theory of mind", the ability to ascribe intentional states, including beliefs, desires and intentions, to themselves and others. In this paper I trace how children's ability to ascribe intentions is derived from parental attempts to hold them responsible for their talk and action, that is, the attempt to have their behavior meet a normative standard or rule. Self-control is children's developing ability to take on or accept responsibility, that is, the ability to ascribe intentions to themselves. This is achieved, I argue, when they possess the ability to hold an utterance or rule in mind in the form of a quoted expression, and second, when they grasp the causal relation between the rule and their action. The account of how children learn to ascribe intention to themselves and others will then be used to explore the larger question of the relations amongst language, intentional states and the ascription and avowal of those states
Keywords Ascription  Avowal  Intention  Mental states  Obligations  Quotation  Responsibility  Rules  Speech acts  Self-control
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-007-9209-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,564
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Brainstorms.Daniel C. Dennett - 1978 - MIT Press.

View all 40 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Towards a Convincing Account of Intention.Niel Henk Conradie - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Stellenbosch

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Let’s Pretend!: Children and Joint Action.Deborah Tollefsen - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (1):75-97.
We-Intentions Revisited.Raimo Tuomela - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 125 (3):327 - 369.
Group Agency, Responsibility, and Control.Anders Strand - 2013 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (2):201-224.
Exercising Doxastic Freedom.Conor Mchugh - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):1-37.


Added to PP index

Total views
81 ( #146,453 of 2,533,564 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #390,861 of 2,533,564 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes