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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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THE PROPERTY THEORY, RATIONALITY, AND KRIPKE'S PUZZLE ABOUT BELIEF

THE PROPERTY THEORY, RATIONALITY, AND KRIPKE'S PUZZLE ABOUT BELIEF

Chapter:
(p.141) CHAPTER SIX THE PROPERTY THEORY, RATIONALITY, AND KRIPKE'S PUZZLE ABOUT BELIEF
Source:
Belief about the Self
Author(s):

Neil Feit (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195341362.003.0006

This chapter applies the property theory of content to an important problem in the philosophy of mind and philosophical semantics, namely, Saul Kripke's puzzle about belief. The first section discusses the details of the puzzle and the principles associated with it. The puzzle gives rise to an argument that seems to refute one of the basic principles underlying our ordinary discourse about what we believe. This argument is the subject of the second section, wherein it is suggested that in addition to the principles discussed by Kripke, there are other, more dubious, principles behind some of the premises. The third section contains a diagnosis of the argument, according to which each of the new principles is ambiguous, and each is false on one of its readings. The upshot is that there is a satisfying, property-theoretic way to solve Kripke's puzzle by distinguishing two senses in which a subject can be said to have contradictory beliefs. Just one of these senses threatens the rationality of the believer, but Kripke's puzzle is concerned only with the other one. Finally, the fourth section considers variants of Kripke's puzzle that have to do with belief attributions containing empty names and kind terms.

Keywords:   contradictory beliefs, empty names, Kripke, Kripke's puzzle, rationality

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