The View from Here is a study of our must fundamental attitudes toward the past. The book explores the dynamics of affirmation and regret, tracing the connections of each to our ongoing attachments. The focus is on situations in which our attachments commit us to affirming events or decisions that we know to have been unfortunate or regrettable.
De se exceptionalism is the view, notably championed by Perry (1979) and Lewis (1979), that our characteristically 'first-personal' ways of thinking about ourselves present unique challenges to standard views of propositional attitudes like belief. Though the view has won many adherents, it has recently come under a barrage of deserved criticism. A key claim of detractors is that classic examples used to motivate de se exceptionalism from de se ignorance or misidentification are nothing more than familiar Frege-puzzles, which raise no (...) issues exclusive to self-directed thought. After reviewing how this simple objection has substantial force against the classic defenses of exceptionalism, I provide new arguments based on cases of pure de se ignorance that avoid the criticism. Afterward, I revisit Lewis's defense of exceptionalism, diagnosing how he arrived at roughly the right conclusions on the basis of an argument that begged critical questions and obscured the representationally unique features of the de se. (shrink)
The Sleeping Beauty puzzle has dramatized the divisive question of how de se beliefs should be integrated into formal theories of rational belief change. In this paper, I look ahead to a related question: how should de se beliefs be integrated into formal theories of rational choice? I argue that standard decision theoretic frameworks fail in special cases of de se uncertainty, like Sleeping Beauty. The nature of the failure reveals that sometimes rational choices are determined independently of one’s credences (...) in the kinds of ‘narrow’ de se propositions that Sleepy Beauty has set in relief. Consequently, in addition to pinpointing a failure of standard decision theoretic frameworks, this result casts doubt on a large class of strategies for determining principles for the rationally updating de se beliefs in cases like Sleeping Beauty, and also calls into question the importance of making such a determination at all. (shrink)