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Belleri on De Se Attitudes

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21 Oct 2011 15:00
21 Oct 2011 18:00
Europe/Rome

 

Delia Belleri will present her work-in-progress paper

"On Whose Pants Are On Fire: De Se Attitudes in Communication".

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NB: Venue >>>> Aula Mondolfo, Dipartimento di FIlosofia, III piano, via Zamboni 38

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Abstract

 

In this paper, I address a criticism that has been moved by Egan (2007) against Lewis' treatment of the semantics of de se attitudes. Egan points out that, if Lewis' semantics of de se is combined with a very plausible picture of how communication works, it gives rise to disastrous results. I argue that the Lewisian approach can be defended against this objection by bringing into focus the role that words like “I” can play in the acts of assertion of self-centered contents. In other words, even maintaining that the contents of de se thoughts and assertions are centered propositions, the fact that, in verbal communication, words like “I” are used by the speaker coveys information that can help the hearer to stabilise the center of these assertions. This leads to a solution to Egan's problem in terms of “indexed centers”. The indexed centers view is but a variety of the multi-centered proposition account recently defended by Ninan (2010) and Torre (2010). I shall argue in defence of this account against some worries that may be raised by the critic, especially on the plausibility of the notion of multi-centered attitude. I then move on to consider the Ninan-Torre proposal in closer detail: Although I share the basic framework and the motivation that underlies their strategy, I believe that, given (i) the role of the information carried by the use of “I” and (ii) the effects of speakers' intentions in fixing the center of assertions, some aspects of the formal layout that they propose are ultimately not needed.  

 

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