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Belief about the SelfA Defense of the Property Theory of Content$
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Neil Feit

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195341362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195341362.001.0001

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ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE PROPERTY THEORY

ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE PROPERTY THEORY

Chapter:
(p.91) CHAPTER FOUR ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE PROPERTY THEORY
Source:
Belief about the Self
Author(s):

Neil Feit (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195341362.003.0004

This chapter discusses what seem to be the most interesting and important objections to the property theory of content. The goal of the chapter is to show that all of the objections can be answered plausibly. The first section deals with objections concerning our ability to understand the primitive, property-theoretic notion of self-ascription and with other objections concerning the kind of cognitive sophistication needed in order to self-ascribe properties. The second section discusses objections according to which the property theory cannot account for certain special sorts of attitude. For example, the desire never to have existed seems problematic for the property theory since it seems not to be a case of wanting to have a certain property. The third section considers an argument of Robert Stalnaker's concerning the relations among belief content, assertion, and the exchange of information. Finally, the fourth section discusses objections having to do with inferences containing claims about attitudes. Propositionalists might argue that the property theory cannot account for the validity or strength of certain of these inferences.

Keywords:   doctrine of propositions, nonexistence, self-ascription, self-awareness, Stalnaker

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