Propositional Attitudes. Facts and states of affairs. Common Three-Way Equivalence:. Sentence meanings The objects of the attitudes The referents of ‘that’-clauses. Propositional Attitudes. Agent + Attitude + Content Attitudes = belief, knowledge, desire, hope, etc.
The objects of the attitudes
The referents of ‘that’-clauses
Agent + Attitude + Content
Attitudes = belief, knowledge, desire, hope, etc.
The functionalist consensus
What are the objects of the attitudes (contents)?
Subject + Attitude Verb + ‘that’-Clause
Attitude Verbs = “believe,” “know,” “desire,” “hope,” etc.
Attitudes distinct from their ascriptions
Contents of ‘that’-clauses objects of attitudes?
“Today is Tuesday but John doesn’t know it.”
“It’s true that it’s raining and John believes that it’s raining.”
“It’s true that, and John knows that, it’s raining.”
Truth as ‘correspondence with the facts.’
Sentences/ statements are true/ false
No semantically evaluable semantic entities
Sentences mean facts?
Objects, properties, and relations
“Going together in the world”
The Unity of the Fact (problem thereof)
a is F
a instantiates F-ness
<a, F-ness> instantiate instantiation
<<a, F-ness>, instantiation> instantiate instantiation
“We note that when a detective says ‘Let's look at the facts’ he does not crawl round the carpet, but proceeds to utter a string of statements.” (Austin, “Truth”)
No such thing as false facts.
What do we believe when we believe something false?
Belief is a relation to “semantically unjoined” objects, properties, and relations.
Problem of unity: order.
Like facts, but don’t need to actually exist, only possibly exist.
Problems for SofA = Meanings
No impossible states of affairs
(“going together” again)
Problems for SofA = Objects of Attitudes
Coarse-grainedness of SofA
Problems for SofA = Referents of ‘That’-Clauses
Sentences are true vs. sentence meanings are true
What I believe is true vs. my belief is true
(You can believe what I believe, but you can’t have my belief)
“John believes something true” vs. “John’s belief is true.”
Propositions fine-grained, truth-evaluable– more language-like
A new type of “going together”
a proposition (“gedanke”) “is like a planet which, already before anyone has seen it, has been in interaction with other planets.”
“when one apprehends or thinks a [proposition] one does not create it but only comes to stand in a certain relation… to what already existed beforehand.”
“I imagined [F: the proposition] that a purple donkey was nibbling on lettuce.”
“I was surprised [*the proposition/ F: at the proposition] that John never came to the party.”
Possible worlds: Lewis and Stalnaker
Possible worlds semantics: Carnap and Montague
Analysis of necessity and possibility
Meanings as “truth-conditions”
Functions from worlds to truth-values
Sets and characteristic functions
The deduction problem
The “aboutness” problem
Directly referential expressions collapsed into rigid expressions
Even less coarse-grained than SofA: all necessities equivalent, all impossibilities equivalent.
Going diagonal (or metalinguistic)
Still get all provable truths equivalent, for those who accept the axioms.
“Consider the case of the two gods. They inhabit a certain possible world, and they know exactly which world it is. Therefore they know every proposition that is true at their world. Insofar as knowledge is a propositional attitude, they are omniscient…”
“…Still I can imagine them to suffer ignorance: neither one knows which of the two he is. They are not exactly alike. One lives on top of the tallest mountain and throws down manna; the other lives on top of the coldest mountain and throws down thunderbolts. Neither one knows whether he lives on the tallest mountain or the coldest mountain; nor whether he throws manna or thunderbolts.”
Like SofAs: objects, properties, relations
Structural isomorphism w/ sentences
New kind of “going together”
Limits: articulated non-constituents
“John is a tall ballet dancer”
Limits: unarticulated constituents
Systematicity: if you can think aRb, you can think bRa
Conflating contexts: ‘watch’ + PAST vs. ‘watch’ + PROG + PAST
SPs strictly more fine grained than SofAs
SPs determine sets of possible worlds, not vice versa (composition post-linguistic)
No logical omniscience, deduction, aboutness problems
Too much grain? A & B vs. B & A
Names and natural kind terms, a = b vs. a = a
Which set-theoretic objects? (order arbitrariness)
Why do some set-theoretic objects have truth-conditions and others (regular ones) not?
Is the “going together” really not set-theoretic? If not, then what is it?
If propositions have a largely linguistic structure… do they get it from language?
If so, are they really mind/ language dependent?
If so, did the proposition that dinosaurs exist not exist until we did?
And can animals think?
LFs vs. surface structure (not particularly important)
No new “going together”
Strictly greater grain the SPs
(Hence same or worse grainedness problems, same or better benefits)
Names and natural kind terms, a = b vs. a = a
Meaningful sentences with empty names?
Sensible why they have truth-conditions
Speakers of different languages no longer expressing the same proposition, believing the same things
Data: “I believed that even when I was a monolingual French speaker!”
Attitudes, propositions dependent on language
Pierre and “Londresestjolie”