Attitudes and Changing Contexts by Robert van Rooij

By Robert van Rooij

In this e-book, the writer defends a unified externalists account of propositional attitudes and reference, and formalizes this view inside attainable global semantics. He establishes a hyperlink among philosophical analyses of intentionality and reference and formal semantic theories of discourse illustration and context switch. Stalnakerian diagonalization performs a big position right here. Anaphora are taken care of as referential expressions, whereas presupposition is visible as a propositional angle. The relation among trust switch and the semantic analyses of conditional sentences and evidential (knowledge) and buletic (desire) propositional attitudes is mentioned extensively.


"Van Rooij has new and engaging issues to assert either approximately foundational matters within the philosophy of language, and concerning the info of particular analyses, f.e. approximately intensional id, epistemic modals, propositional angle attributions, presupposition lodging, conditionals and trust change." Robert Stalnaker, MIT

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Sample text

This man is actually Kaplan himself, but he does not realize this, and stays cool under the situation. After a while things get hotter, however, and he starts to realize that he has been looking at himself in the mirror. His earlier coolness disappears, and he shouts Help, my pants are on fire! How can this change in behaviour be explained if the first person possessive would refer simply to Kaplan? If content is determined as is predicted via the causal account, it would seem that completely rational agents could have inconsistent beliefs.

Also, it is crucial that, at least in general, we do not account for content in terms of what was actually the cause of a certain information state, but in terms of what normally causes this mechanism to be in that state. 15 Stalnaker (1984) defends his combined account as a reductive naturalistic analysis of intentionality. But in order for this account to be fully successful, it is crucial to explain the normal or ideal conditions in terms of which content is defined in non-intentional ways. I am not sure whether this can be done.

Questioning helps to make explicit what was only implicitly believed before (Stalnaker, 1991). 10 The pragmatic account of intentionality alone leaves the content of belief underdetermined. It cannot explain why the Earthling Oscar (one of the twins in Putnam’s Twin Earth example) is thinking about H2 O, if he is thirsty and asks Can someone give me some water? According to a purely pragmatic account of intentionality, he might as well be thinking about XY Z. But we don’t need these artificial Twin Earth stories to see that the pragmatic account by itself cannot solve the problem of intentionality.

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