Attitudereports are reports about people’s states of mind. They are reports about what people think, believe, know, know a priori, imagine, hate, wish, fear, and the like. So, for example, I might report that s knows p, or that she imagines p, or that she hates p, where p specifies the content to which s is purportedly related. One lively current debate centers around the question of what sort of specification is involved when such (...) class='Hi'>attitudereports are successful. Some hold that it is specification of the precise content of a mental state; others hold that it is specification of the content of a mental state only relative to a mode of presentation; yet others hold that it is merely a description or characterization of the content of a mental state. After providing a brief introduction to the traditional debate on attitudereports, this entry argues that for certain kinds of knowledge reports and for so-called de re attitudereports, descriptive theories emerge as the most plausible. The entry concludes with a discussion of how the characterizing relation between attitudereports and mental states might be construed. (shrink)
In a range of recent and not so recent work, I have developed a novel semantics of attitudereports on which the notion of an attitudinal object or cognitive product takes center stage, that is, entities such as thoughts claims and decisions. The purpose of this note is to give a brief summary of this account against the background of the standard semantics of attitudereports and to show that the various sorts of criticism that Felappi (...) recently advanced against it are mistaken. (shrink)
I observe that the “concept-generator” theory of Percus and Sauerland (2003), Anand (2006), and Charlow and Sharvit (2014) does not predict an intuitive true interpretation of the sentence “Plato did not believe that Hesperus was Phosphorus”. In response, I present a simple theory of attitudereports which employs a fine-grained semantics for names, according to which names which intuitively name the same thing may have distinct compositional semantic values. This simple theory solves the problem with the concept-generator theory, (...) but, as I go on to show, it has problems of its own. I present three examples which the concept-generator theory can accommodate, but the simple fine-grained theory cannot. These examples motivate the full theory of the paper, which combines the basic ideas behind the concept-generator theory with a fine-grained semantics for names. The examples themselves are of interest independently of my theory: two of them constrain the original concept-generator theory more tightly than previously discussed examples had. (shrink)
Although much has been written about the truth-conditions of de re attitudereports, little attention has been paid to certain ‘ultra-liberal’ uses of those reports. We believe that if these uses are legitimate, then a number of interesting consequences for various theses in philosophical semantics follow. The majority of the paper involves describing these consequences. In short, we argue that, if true, ultra-liberal reports: bring counterexamples to a popular approach to de re attitude ascriptions, which (...) we will call ‘descriptivism’; and combine with independently plausible principles about the logic of belief to imply that subjects can achieve omniscience about what exists from the armchair. Although we are not committed to the view that ultra-liberal reports are false, in the final part of the paper we discuss the prospects of pursuing a line according to which the acceptability of such reports ought not be taken at face value. We conclude by arguing that those who are sympathetic with this move might have reason to doubt the truth of an even broader class of acceptable de re attitudereports, namely those that have been taken to undermine orthodox accounts of de re attitude ascriptions. (shrink)
Propositional attitudereports are sentences built around clause-embedding psychological verbs, like Kim believes that it's raining or Kim wants it to rain. These interact in many intricate ways with a wide variety of semantically relevant grammatical phenomena, and represent one of the most important topics at the interface of linguistics and philosophy, as their study provides insight into foundational questions about meaning. This book provides a bird's-eye overview of the grammar of propositional attitudereports, synthesizing the (...) key facts, theories, and open problems in their analysis. Couched in the theoretical framework of generative grammar and compositional truth-conditional semantics, it places emphasis on points of intersection between propositional attitudereports and other important topics in semantic and syntactic theory. With discussion points, suggestions for further reading and a useful guide to symbols and conventions, it will be welcomed by students and researchers wishing to explore this fertile area of study. (shrink)
In this paper I examine an argument that there is a serious tension between the claim that for natural languages linguistic meaning underdetermines what is said and the relational analysis of attitude-reports. I conclude that it is possible to avoid the tension by adopting a pluralism about meaning and expression.
It is often assumed that singular thought requires that an agent be epistemically acquainted with the object the thought is about. However, it can sometimes truthfully be said of someone that they have a belief about an object, despite not being interestingly epistemically acquainted with that object. In defense of an epistemic acquaintance constraint on singular thought, it is thus often claimed that belief ascriptions are context sensitive and do not always track the contents of an agent’s mental states. This (...) paper uses first-person attitudereports to argue that contextualism about belief ascriptions does not present an adequate defense of an acquaintance constraint on singular thought. (shrink)
This thesis deals with the phenomenon of attitude reporting. More specifically, it provides a unified semantics of de re and de se belief reports. After arguing that de se belief is best thought of as a special case of de re belief, I examine whether we can extend this unification to the realm of belief reports. I show how, despite very promising first steps, previous attempts in this direction ultimately fail with respect to some relatively recent linguistic (...) data involving quantified and infinitival reports, logophoric constructions, and monstrously shifted indexicals. Formalizing my idea of a contextual resolution of acquaintance relations in a dynamic framework, I arrive at an alternative analysis that handles all these data. (shrink)
Clausal complements of different kinds of attitude verbs such as believe, doubt, be surprised, wonder, say, and whisper behave differently semantically in a number of respects. For example, they differ in the inference patterns they display. This paper develops a semantic account of clausal complements using partial logic which accounts for such semantic differences on the basis of a uniform meaning of clauses. It focuses on explaining the heterogeneous inference patterns associated with different kinds of attitude verbs, but (...) it contributes also to explaining differences among clausal complements of attitude verbs regarding the possibility of de re reference, anaphora support, presupposition satisfaction, and the distribution of subjunctive in certain languages. Moreover, it gives a new account of factivity. The point of departure of this paper is the general observation that the failure of inferences from attitudereports is relative in that it depends both on the general type of attitude and on the particular instance of the attitude described. Thus, from John is surprised that P and Q one cannot infer John is surprised that P and John is surprised that Q, though this is possible with believe. Conversely, one can infer from John believes that P and John believes that Q, to John believes that P and Q, but only as long as the same belief state of John is involved. In order to capture this dependency of inferences from attitudereports on a particular mental state or act, I propose an account on which clausal complements of attitude verbs (as well as independent sentences) characterize the intentional state or act described by the attitude verb in question, rather than referring to independent propositions. The semantic account of attitudereports of this paper can hence be called an 'event-based account' of clauses. Formally, the denotation of any sentence, both independent and embedded, is construed as a function mapping an intentional state or act to a function from situations (which form the content of the state or act) to truth values.. (shrink)
It is widely supposed that if there is to be a plausible connection between the truth of a de re attitude report about a subject and that subject’s possession of a singular thought, then ‘acquaintance’-style requirements on singular thought must be rejected. I show that this belief rests on poorly motivated claims about how we talk about the attitudes. I offer a framework for propositional attitudereports which provides both attractive solutions to recalcitrant puzzle cases and the (...) key to preserving acquaintance constraints. The upshot is that there is an independently motivated response to the principal argument against acquaintance. (shrink)
This paper defends the claim that although ‘Superman is Clark Kent and some people who believe that Superman flies do not believe that Clark Kent flies’ is a logically inconsistent sentence, we can still utter this sentence, while speaking literally, without asserting anything false. The key idea is that the context-sensitivity of attitudereports can be - and often is - resolved in different ways within a single sentence.
Most theories of conditionals and attitudes do not analyze either phenomenon in terms of the other. A few view attitudereports as a species of conditionals (e.g. Stalnaker 1984, Heim 1992). Based on evidence from Kalaallisut, this paper argues for the opposite thesis: conditionals are a species of attitudereports. The argument builds on prior findings that conditionals are modal topic-comment structures (e.g. Haiman 1978, Bittner 2001), and that in mood-based Kalaallisut English future (e.g. Ole will (...) win) translates into a factual report of a prospect-oriented attitudinal state (e.g. expectation or anxiety, see Bittner 2005). It is argued that in conditionals the antecedent introduces a topical subdomain of an input modal base (Kratzer 1981) and requires the consequent to comment. The comment is a factual report of an attitude to the topical antecedent sub-domain. [This paper was published in 2011 as "Time and modality without tenses or modals"]. (shrink)
This is a collection of nine papers dealing with the topic of reporting on beliefs and other attitudes, and in particular with the issue of the semantics-pragmatics boundary dispute which is the core topic of research in the field.
Higginbotham argued that certain linguistic items of English, when used in indirect discourse, necessarily trigger first-personal interpretations. They are: the emphatic reflexive pronoun and the controlled understood subject, represented as PRO. PRO is special, in this respect, due to its imposing obligatory control effects between the main clause and its subordinates ). Folescu & Higginbotham, in addition, argued that in Romanian, a language whose grammar doesn’t assign a prominent role to PRO, de se triggers are correlated with the subjunctive mood (...) of certain verbs. That paper, however, didn’t account for the grammatical diversity of the reports that display immunity to error through misidentification in Romanian: some of these reports are expressed by using de se triggers; others are not. Their IEM, moreover, is not systematically lexically controlled by the verbs, via their theta-roles; it is, rather, determined by the meaning of the verbs in question. Given the data from Romanian, I will argue, the phenomenon of IEM cannot be fully explained starting either from the syntactical or the lexical structure of a language. (shrink)
Reports on beliefs, desires, and other attitudes continue to raise foundational questions about linguistic meaning and the pragmatics of utterance interpretation. There is a strong intuition that an attitude report like ‘John believes that Mary smokes’ can simply convey the singular proposition that the individual Mary is believed by John to have the property of smoking. Yet, there is also a strong intuition that ‘Lois believes that Superman can fly’ can additionally convey how an individual is represented . (...) Cases of this sort can be generated with any name in a suitable context . It is far from settled how this should be explained. I propose the Open Instruction Theory , according to which the linguistic meaning of attitude report sentences consists in instructions to create mental models, where those instructions leave open, depending on the state of the discourse, the possibility of singular interpretations as well as of complex interpretations including information about ways of representing. The account makes precise the idea that attitude report sentences with proper names are semantically nonspecific , rather than indexical , yielding predictions about syntactic constraints on interpretation. On this view, linguistic meaning itself does not provide determinate propositions. Since Gricean pragmatics requires determinate propositions as input, I propose new principles of pragmatics for literal utterance interpretation that do not require them but remain strongly constrained by linguistic meaning. The core principle is “inference to the most responsive interpretation.” Roughly, among the range of literal interpretations allowed by linguistic meaning, the listener generates the one that most fully answers the background question she seeks to answer by engaging in discourse. The pragmatics of literal utterance interpretation is the pragmatics of interpreting potential answers, even if communicative intention may be more important for conversational implicature. The account predicts cases in which our interpretations differ from what we would take the speaker to have had in mind. Singular interpretations of attitudereports have a special status as default interpretations. I suggest some advantages of OIT over indexicalist, DRT, and free enrichment theories. I argue that to the extent that we have to go beyond a strict principle of linguistic constraint , we should aim toward a principle of psychological constraint. (shrink)
This book aims at analyzing semantic values of proper names occurring in belief reports. The focus is on the discussion about Frege s puzzle concerning belief reports. The goal is to analyze Frege s puzzle without giving up semantic innocence. To this end, a pragmatic analysis named VarCA analysis is proposed.".
In this study, we examined students' attitudes toward cheating and whether they would report instances of cheating they witnessed. Data were collected from three educational institutions in Singapore. A total of 518 students participated in the study. Findings suggest that students perceived cheating behaviors involving exam-related situations to be serious, whereas plagiarism was rated as less serious. Cheating in the form of not contributing one's fair share in a group project was also perceived as a serious form of academic misconduct, (...) although a majority of the students admitted having engaged in such behavior. With regard to the prevalence of academic cheating, our findings suggest that students are morally ambivalent about academic cheating and are rather tolerant of dishonesty among their peers. On the issue of whether cheating behaviors should be reported, our findings revealed that a majority of students chose to take the expedient measure of ignoring the problem rather than to blow the whistle on their peers. Implications of our findings are discussed. (shrink)
In this paper I assume that it is reasonable to claim, as Michael Devitt does, that a definite description can express, in certain contexts, a genuinely referential meaning, but I discuss the requisite, also defended by Devitt, that the predicates involved in the description at stake should apply to the referred object. In so doing, I consider some cases of sentences containing definite descriptions constituted by general terms that, strictly speaking, don't apply to the intended object but are nonetheless intuitively (...) true. Along these lines, in the last paragraphs, I suggest that the role of the predicative material of a referential definite description can be regarded as secondary or instrumental, a mere guide to the identification of the object referred to. En el presente trabajo parto de asumir que es razonable sostener, como propone Michael Devitt, que una descripción definida puede expresar, en ciertos contextos, un significado genuinamente referencial para luego discutir el requisito, también defendido por Devitt, de que los predicados que constituyen la descripción en cuestión deban aplicarse al objeto referido. Para hacerlo, considero ejemplos de oraciones que contienen descripciones definidas constituidas por términos generales que, en sentido estricto, no se aplican al objeto pretendido, pero que pueden ser consideradas intuitivamente verdaderas. Siguiendo este enfoque, en los párrafos finales, sugiero que el papel del material predicativo que constituye una descripción definida referencial debe ser considerado secundario e instrumental, una mera guía para la identificación del objeto referido. (shrink)
Honesty and integrity are key attributes of an ethically competent physician. However, academic misconduct, which includes but is not limited to plagiarism, cheating, and falsifying documentation, is common in medical colleges across the world. The purpose of this study is to describe differences in the self-reported attitudes and behaviours of medical students regarding academic misconduct depending on gender, year of study and type of medical institution in Pakistan.
The critical linguistic analysis of authorial stance in English news reporting has long been concerned with uncovering the ideological bias embedded in the seemingly objective and neutral representation of people and events. Interest has recently shifted towards the nature of the authorial voice itself and the extent to which this semblance of objectivity is also typical in non-English reporting. This article explores to what extent the most impersonal ‘reporter voice’, as identified by Martin and White in English hard-news reported in (...) the press, is present in Italian reporting. The ‘appraisal’ categories developed by Martin and White are used, discussed and adapted for this purpose. Attention is thereby also given to significant expressive resources that may not be retrievable from English material alone. Similarities and differences in reporting styles are discussed and reference is made to the social and cultural variables that may underlie them. (shrink)
In this paper, I raise a problem for standard precisifications of the Relational Analysis of attitudereports. The problem I raise involves counterfactual attitude verbs. such as ‘wish’. In short, the trouble is this: there are true attitudereports ‘ S wishes that P ’ but there is no suitable referent for the term ‘that P ’. The problematic reports illustrate that the content of a subject’s wish is intimately related to the content of (...) their beliefs. I capture this fact by moving to a framework in which ‘wish’ relates subjects to sets of pairs of worlds, or paired propositions, rather than—as is standardly assumed—sets of worlds. Although other types of counterfactual attitudereports, for example those involving ‘imagine’, may be similarly problematic, at this stage it is unclear whether they can be handled the same way. (shrink)
Physicians anecdotally report inquiring about incarcerated patients’ crimes and their length of sentence, which has potential implications for the quality of care these patients receive. However, there is minimal research on how a physician’s awareness of their patient’s crimes/length of sentence impacts physician behaviours and attitudes. We performed regression modelling on a 27-question survey to analyse physician attitudes and behaviours towards incarcerated patients. We found that, although most physicians did not usually try to learn of their patients’ crimes, they often (...) became aware of them. We observed associations between awareness of a patient’s crime and poor physician disposition towards their patients and between physicians’ poor dispositions and lower reported quality of care. These associations suggest that awareness of a patient’s crime may reduce quality of care by negatively impacting physicians’ dispositions towards their patients. Future quantitative and qualitative studies, for example, involving physician interviews and direct patient outcome assessments, are needed to confirm these findings and further uncover and address hurdles incarcerated patients face in seeking medical care. (shrink)
To explore the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding plagiarism in a large culturally diverse sample of researchers who participated in the AuthorAID MOOC on Research Writing. An online survey was designed and delivered through Google Forms to the participants in the AuthorAID MOOC on Research Writing during April to June 2017. A total of 765 participants completed the survey, and 746 responses were included in the analysis. Almost all participants reported knowledge of the term “plagiarism”, and 89.1% of them understand (...) the meaning of the term before joining the course. Most participants reported that their university does not provide access to plagiarism detection software, and 35% participants admitted they had been involved in plagiarism during their education. Overall attitudes toward plagiarism indicated low acceptance of plagiarism. Moreover, low scores were reported for approval attitude, disapproval attitude, and knowledge of subjective norms. The most common reason for plagiarizing was lack of time, and the most common consequence was the perception that “those who plagiarize are not respected or seen positively”. Developing country researchers appear to be familiar with the concept of plagiarism, but knowledge among the participants surveyed here was incomplete. Knowledge about plagiarism and awareness of its harmfulness must be improved, because there is an obvious relationship between attitudes toward plagiarism and knowledge, reasons and consequences. The use of plagiarism-detection software can raise awareness about plagiarism. (shrink)
Objectives: This study aimed to determine attitudinal and self reported behavioural variations between medical students in different years to scenarios involving academic misconduct.Design: A cross-sectional study where students were given an anonymous questionnaire that asked about their attitudes to 14 scenarios describing a fictitious student engaging in acts of academic misconduct and asked them to report their own potential behaviour.Setting: Dundee Medical School.Participants: Undergraduate medical students from all five years of the course.Method: Questionnaire survey.Main measurements: Differences in medical students’ attitudes (...) to the 14 scenarios and their reported potential behaviour with regards to the scenarios in each of the years.Results: For most of the scenarios there was no significant difference in the response between the years. Significant differences in the responses were found for some of the scenarios across the years, where a larger proportion of year one students regarded the scenario as wrong and would not engage in the behaviour, compared to other years. These scenarios included forging signatures, resubmitting work already completed for another part of the course, and falsifying patient information.Conclusion: Observed differences between the years for some scenarios may reflect a change in students’ attitudes and behaviour as they progress though the course. The results may be influenced by the educational experience of the students, both in terms of the learning environment and assessment methods used. These differences may draw attention to the potential but unintentional pressures placed on medical students to engage in academic misconduct. The importance of developing strategies to engender appropriate attitudes and behaviours at the undergraduate level must be recognised. (shrink)
The subject of gratitude has gained traction in recent years in academic and popular circles. However, limited attention has been devoted to understanding what laypeople understand by the concept of gratitude; the meaning of which tends to have been assumed in the literature. Furthermore, while intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of gratitude have been extolled in this growing body of research, there has been little assessment of the value laypeople place on gratitude themselves, or whether and how they think it might (...) be fostered. Since September 2012, our Attitude for Gratitude research project has been engaged in examining precisely how gratitude is conceptualised by the British public, what British people are grateful for, the value they place on gratitude, what kinds of people tend to be grateful, and whether and how they think gratitude might be promoted in British society. The project has incorporated a variety of methods to examine these questions, conceptually and empirically, canvassing the opinions of over 10,000 people in the UK. A key issue for our research has been to represent the views of British people across a range of ages, ethnicities and backgrounds that are representative of Britain today. We are strongly committed to the view that researchers should engage with laypeople to avoid superimposing a meaning and value on gratitude that does not reflect the views of the people the research purports to study. To this end, and to throw light on what British laypeople understand by the concept of gratitude, we carried out a series of empirical studies that complement the definitions of philosophers and psychologists with more everyday definitions of laypeople5. To examine the perceived value of gratitude we surveyed British people directly, making no prior assumptions about where gratitude might be evaluated in relation to other values and virtues. Finally, we sought to elicit suggestions from the British public themselves about how gratitude might be fostered in British society. Much recent research on gratitude has originated in the USA and therefore a further aim of the project was to assess the degree to which the understanding and evaluation of gratitude may differ between the USA and the UK. We sought to target the British public with these questions. (shrink)
Several theorists have observed that attitudereports have what we call “revisionist” uses. For example, even if Pete has never met Ann and has no idea that she exists, Jane can still say to Jim ‘Pete believes Ann can learn to play tennis in ten lessons’ if Pete believes all 6-year-olds can learn to play tennis in ten lessons and it is part of Jane and Jim’s background knowledge that Ann is a 6-year-old. Jane’s assertion seems acceptable because (...) the claim she reports Pete as believing is entailed by Pete’s beliefs if they are revised in light of Jane and Jim’s background knowledge. We provide a semantic theory of revisionist reports based on this idea. We observe that the admissible “revisions” are limited in a striking way. Jane cannot say ‘Pete thinks Ann is a 6-year-old and can play tennis in ten lessons’ in the same context that she can say ‘Pete believes Ann can learn to play tennis ten lessons’, even though this too follows from Jane and Jim’s background knowledge together with what Pete believes. Our theory predicts the infelicity of these latter reports. It also has the resources to predict the truth of “exported” attitudereports and casts the relationship between these reports and “singular thought” in a new light. We conclude by discussing how revisionist reports make trouble for a simplistic view of the connection between the relations expressed by attitude verbs in natural language and the relations of most interest to philosophers of mind and cognitive science. (shrink)
We examine the self-reported moral attitudes and moral behavior of 198 ethics professors, 208 non-ethicist philosophers, and 167 professors in departments other than philosophy on eight moral issues: academic society membership, voting, staying in touch with one's mother, vegetarianism, organ and blood donation, responsiveness to student emails, charitable giving, and honesty in responding to survey questionnaires. On some issues we also had direct behavioral measures that we could compare with self-report. Ethicists expressed somewhat more stringent normative attitudes on some issues, (...) such as vegetarianism and charitable donation. However, on no issue did ethicists show significantly better behavior than the two comparison groups. Our findings on attitude-behavior consistency were mixed: Ethicists showed the strongest relationship between behavior and expressed moral attitude regarding voting but the weakest regarding charitable donation. (shrink)
Do philosophy professors specializing in ethics behave, on average, any morally better than do other professors? If not, do they at least behave more consistently with their expressed values? These questions have never been systematically studied. We examine the self-reported moral attitudes and moral behavior of 198 ethics professors, 208 non-ethicist philosophers, and 167 professors in departments other than philosophy on eight moral issues: academic society membership, voting, staying in touch with one's mother, vegetarianism, organ and blood donation, responsiveness to (...) student emails, charitable giving, and honesty in responding to survey questionnaires. On some issues, we also had direct behavioral measures that we could compare with the self-reports. Ethicists expressed somewhat more stringent normative attitudes on some issues, such as vegetarianism and charitable donation. However, on no issue did ethicists show unequivocally better behavior than the two comparison groups. Our findings on attitude-behavior consistency were mixed: ethicists showed the strongest relationship between behavior and expressed moral attitude regarding voting but the weakest regarding charitable donation. We discuss implications for several models of the relationship between philosophical reflection and real-world moral behavior. (shrink)
The most common account of attitudereports is the relational analysis according towhich an attitude verb taking that-clause complements expresses a two-placerelation between agents and propositions and the that-clause acts as an expressionwhose function is to provide the propositional argument. I will argue that a closerexamination of a broader range of linguistic facts raises serious problems for thisanalysis and instead favours a Russellian `multiple relations analysis' (which hasgenerally been discarded because of its apparent obvious linguistic implausibility).The resulting (...) account can be given independent philosophical motivations within anintentionalist view of truth and predication. (shrink)
Background: For many years, studies have shown that the results of clinical trials are often published or reported selectively with a statistically significant bias in favour of positive trial results. Trial registration as a precondition for publication had only limited effects on current practice. Results of trials which were approved by research ethics committees are often published only partially, with a substantial time lag or not at all. This study examined existing procedures of RECs in the European Union to monitor (...) and prevent incomplete registration of trials and selective reporting of trial results. It further investigated opinions of REC members about the need to update current legislation on this matter. Methods: Web-based survey on members of RECs in 22 European countries. Results: Over 90 percent of respondents agreed that the incomplete publication of trial results had a strong or somewhat negative impact on public health and on healthcare professionals’ trust in the validity of clinical research, yet only 30 percent reported that their REC had some mechanism in place to check that findings of approved studies are published in some form. Less than 10 percent stated that their REC has further specific procedures in place to prevent or minimize selective reporting of study results. Respondents stated variously that their REC did not have the resources to follow up on this matter. Conclusions: The existing legislation to regulate trial registration and encourage complete publication of trial results leaves room for improvement. REC members welcome guidelines to adequately address both problems. The new Regulation EU No. 536/2014 as well as the FDA Amendment Act from 2007 require the reporting of summary results within 1 year after study end. As recent reviews demonstrated, without any systematic approach to monitor the adherence to these regulations, publication rates remain rather low. (shrink)
This paper presents a puzzle involving embedded attitudereports. We resolve the puzzle by arguing that attitude verbs take restricted readings: in some environments the denotation of attitude verbs can be restricted by a given proposition. For example, when these verbs are embedded in the consequent of a conditional, they can be restricted by the proposition expressed by the conditional’s antecedent. We formulate and motivate two conditions on the availability of verb restrictions: a constraint that ties (...) the content of restrictions to the “dynamic effects” of sentential connectives and a constraint that limits the availability of restriction effects to present tense verbs with first-person subjects. However, we also present some cases that make trouble for these conditions, and outline some possible ways of modifying the view to account for the recalcitrant data. We conclude with a brief discussion of some of the connections between our semantics for attitude verbs and issues concerning epistemic modals and theories of knowledge. (shrink)
An evaluation was made of theassociations between self-reported healthconscious consumerism, body-mass index (BMI),and consumer beliefs, attitudes, intentions,and behaviors regarding sustainably producedfoods. Self-administered surveys were completedby adult consumers (n = 550) in threemetropolitan Minnesota grocery stores. Selecteddemographic and psychographic differencesbetween health conscious consumers andnon-health conscious consumers were evaluated.Compared to non-health conscious consumers,health conscious consumers were more likely tobe female, older, more educated, higher incomeearners, more active, healthier, and possess ahealthier body mass index. They also held moresupportive beliefs, attitudes, and intentionswith regard (...) to sustainably produced foods. Inconclusion, some consumers are interested insupporting sustainable production practices andtheir support may be linked to improvedpersonal, environmental, and communityhealth. (shrink)
An important objection to sententialist theories of attitudereports is that they cannot accommodate the principle that one cannot know that someone believes that p without knowing what it is that he believes. This paper argues that a parallel problem arises for propositionalist accounts that has gone largely unnoticed, and that, furthermore, the usual resources for the propositionalist do not afford an adequate solution. While non-standard solutions are available for the propositionalist, it turns out that there are parallel (...) solutions that are available for the sententialist. Since the difficulties raised seem to show that the mechanism by which sentential complements serve to inform us about attitudes and about sentence meaning does not depend on their referring to propositions, this casts doubt on whether talk of propositions should retain a significant theoretical role in the enterprise of understanding thought, language and communication. (shrink)
Data about attitudereports provide some of the most interesting arguments for, and against, various theses of semantic relativism. This paper is a short survey of three such arguments. First, I’ll argue (against recent work by von Fintel and Gillies) that relativists can explain the behaviour of relativistic terms in factive attitudereports. Second, I’ll argue (against Glanzberg) that looking at attitudereports suggests that relativists have a more plausible story to tell than contextualists (...) about the division of labour between semantics and meta-semantics. Finally, I’ll offer a new argument for invariantism (i.e. against both relativism and contextualism) about moral terms. The argument will turn on the observation that the behaviour of normative terms in factive and non-factive attitudereports is quite unlike the behaviour of any other plausibly context-sensitive term. Before that, I’ll start with some taxonomy, just so as it’s clear what the intended conclusions below are supposed to be. (shrink)
Karttunen observes that a presupposition triggered inside an attitude ascription, can be filtered out by a seemingly inaccessible antecedent under the scope of a preceding belief ascription. This poses a major challenge for presupposition theory and the semantics of attitude ascriptions. I solve the problem by enriching the semantics of attitude ascriptions with some independently argued assumptions on the structure and interpretation of mental states. In particular, I propose a DRT-based representation of mental states with a global (...) belief-layer and a variety of labeled attitude compartments embedded within it. Hence, desires and other non-doxastic attitudes are asymmetrically dependent on beliefs. I integrate these mental state representations into a general semantic account of attitude ascriptions which relies on the parasitic nature of non-doxastic attitudes to solve Karttunen’s puzzle. (shrink)
Arthur Ashe's public admission to being a victim of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) once again raises the question of media exposure of private facts. This study compares journalist and public responses to questions about how far the media should go, finding differences between the two groups, as the public is more tolerant of information bearing on official duties.
Propositionalism is the view that intentional attitudes, such as belief, are relations to propositions. Propositionalists argue that propositionalism follows from the intuitive validity of certain kinds of inferences involving attitudereports. Jubien (2001) argues powerfully against propositions and sketches some interesting positive proposals, based on Russell’s multiple relation theory of judgment, about how to accommodate “propositional phenomena” without appeal to propositions. This paper argues that none of Jubien’s proposals succeeds in accommodating an important range of propositional phenomena, such (...) as the aforementioned validity of attitude-report inferences. It then shows that the notion of a predication act-type, which remains importantly Russellian in spirit, is sufficient to explain the range of propositional phenomena in question, in particular the validity of attitude-report inferences. The paper concludes with a discussion of whether predication act-types are really just propositions by another name. (shrink)