Expressing one's mind

Acta Analytica 25 (1):21 - 34 (2010)
Remarks such as ‘I am in pain’ and ‘I think that it’s raining’ are puzzling, since they seem to literally describe oneself as being in pain or having a particular thought, but their conditions of use tend to coincide with unequivocal expressions of pain or of that thought. This led Wittgenstein, among others, to treat such remarks as expressing, rather than as reporting, one’s mental states. Though such expressivism is widely recognized as untenable, Bar-On has recently advanced a neo-expressivist view, on which such remarks exhibit characteristics of both expressions of mental states and reports of those states. I argue against any attempt to see such remarks as both reporting and expressing the same mental states, and that a correct account rests on distinguishing the truth conditions of such remarks from their conditions of use.
Keywords Expressivism  Wittgenstein  Sellars  Moore’s paradox  False belief
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-009-0078-9
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