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Reference and Representation in Thought and Language$
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María de Ponte and Kepa Korta

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714217

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198714217.001.0001

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The property theory and de se attitudes

The property theory and de se attitudes

Chapter:
(p.195) 12 The property theory and de se attitudes
Source:
Reference and Representation in Thought and Language
Author(s):

Wayne A. Davis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198714217.003.0012

The property theory of de se belief denies that believing is a propositional attitude, maintaining instead that for Lingens to believe that he himself is lost is for him to self-attribute the property of being lost. For Lingens to believe that Lingens is lost is for him to self-attribute the independent property of being such that Lingens is lost. The chapter argues that this theory postulates differences where we expect uniformity, introduces unnecessary theoretical complexity, is false to a variety of linguistic and phenomenological facts, and fails to explain many psychological and linguistic facts. If “self-attribute a property” means “believing oneself to have the property,” then the theory provides no explanation of de se belief. The author sketches a propositional theory on which the objects of the attitudes are complexes of concepts (thoughts), de se attitudes involving one type of indexical concept.

Keywords:   belief, de se belief, indexicals, property theory, propositional attitudes, self-attribution, self-concepts

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