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Consciousness and MeaningSelected Essays$
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Brian Loar, Katalin Balog, and Stephanie Beardman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673353

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673353.001.0001

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Reference and Propositional Attitudes

Reference and Propositional Attitudes

(p.14) 1 Reference and Propositional Attitudes
Consciousness and Meaning

Brian Loar

Oxford University Press

There are belief reports such as ‘Michael believes that that masked man is a diplomat’ in which a singular term (‘that masked man’) occurs referentially but substituting a co-referential singular term could produce a belief report with a different truth-value. How is that possible? Using an analogy with Quine’s example ‘Giorgione was so called because of his size,’ Loar explains how the singular term makes two distinct contributions to the belief report’s truth conditions: it refers to the thing the ascribed belief is about and it contributes to what the subject of the report is said to believe about it (e.g., Michael must believe of that masked man that he satisfies the open sentence ‘x is that masked man and x is a diplomat’).

Keywords:   W. V. O. Quine, belief report, singular term, referential occurrence, substitutability, reference, truth conditions, propositional attitudes

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