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What is the Problem of De Se Attitudes?

In Manuel García-Carpintero & Stephan Torre (eds.), About Oneself: De Se Thought and Communication. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2016)

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  1. In Defense of De Se Content.Stephan Torre - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):172-189.
    There is currently disagreement about whether the phenomenon of first-person, or de se, thought motivates a move towards special kinds of contents. Some take the conclusion that traditional propositions are unable to serve as the content of de se belief to be old news, successfully argued for in a number of influential works several decades ago.1 Recently, some philosophers have challenged the view that there exist uniquely de se contents, claiming that most of the philosophical community has been under the (...)
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  • First personal modes of presentation and the structure of empathy.L. A. Paul - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):189-207.
    I argue that we can understand the de se by employing the subjective mode of presentation or, if one’s ontology permits it, by defending an abundant ontology of perspectival personal properties or facts. I do this in the context of a discussion of Cappelen and Dever’s recent criticisms of the de se. Then, I discuss the distinctive role of the first personal perspective in discussions about empathy, rational deference, and self-understanding, and develop a way to frame the problem of lacking (...)
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  • Errepresentazioen egibaldintzak: zerbaitez jardun eta zerbaiti buruzkoa izan.Beñat Esnaola - 2023 - Gogoa 23.
    In this paper, I argue that some philosophers have misinterpreted John Perry’s “Thought without Representation” ([1986] 2000) in two ways. They have taken, on the one hand, his distinction between a representation being about something vs concerning something to be exclusive, and, on the other hand, that he used relativized propositions to capture the truth-conditions of representations with unarticulated constituents. I argue that Perry's distinction is not exclusive and that he argues that unarticulated constituents are part of a representation's truth-conditions, (...)
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  • De Se Attitudes and Action.Dilip Ninan - 2021 - In Heimir Geirsson & Stephen Biggs (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference. New York: Routledge.
    This essay offers a proposal for how to understand the idea that there is a special connection between de se attitudes and the explanation of action.
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  • Two pictures of communication: from content identity to coordination.Andrea Onofri - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-20.
    In this paper, I discuss two influential pictures of communication and the relation between them. One picture holds that successful communication requires identity of content: The speaker has a belief that she expresses with her utterance, and the hearer acquires a belief with the same content by understanding the utterance. The second picture was proposed by Lewis in his classic work Convention and then refined in “Languages and Language.” It sees communication as coordination among speakers—a technical notion that Lewis draws (...)
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  • Minimal Fregeanism.Aidan Gray - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):429-458.
    Among the virtues of relationist approaches to Frege’s puzzle is that they put us in a position to outline structural features of the puzzle that were only implicit in earlier work. In particular, they allow us to frame questions about the relation between the explanatory roles of sense and sameness of sense. In this paper, I distinguish a number of positions about that relation which have not been clearly distinguished. This has a few pay-offs. It allows us to shed light (...)
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  • Being Self-Involved Without Thinking About It: Confusions, Virtues and Challenges of Higher-order Theories (in) Qualitative Consciousness: Themes from the Philosophy of David Rosenthal.Miguel Angel Sebastian - forthcoming - Cambridge, Reino Unido: Cambridge University Press.
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  • Mental filing.Rachel Goodman & Aidan Gray - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):204-226.
    We offer an interpretation of the mental files framework that eliminates the metaphor of files, information being contained in files, etc. The guiding question is whether, once we move beyond the metaphors, there is any theoretical role for files. We claim not. We replace the file-metaphor with two theses: the semantic thesis that there are irreducibly relational representational facts (viz. facts about the coordination of representations); and the metasemantic thesis that processes tied to information-relations ground those facts. In its canonical (...)
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  • Putting I-Thoughts to Work.Santiago Echeverri - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (7):345-372.
    A traditional view holds that the self-concept is essentially indexical. In a highly influential article, Ruth Millikan famously held that the self-concept should be understood as a Millian name with a sui generis functional role. This article presents a novel explanatory argument against the Millian view and in favor of the indexical view. The argument starts from a characterization of the self-concept as a device of information integration. It then shows that the indexical view yields a better explanation of the (...)
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  • The science of belief: A progress report.Nicolas Porot & Eric Mandelbaum - forthcoming - WIREs Cognitive Science 1.
    The empirical study of belief is emerging at a rapid clip, uniting work from all corners of cognitive science. Reliance on belief in understanding and predicting behavior is widespread. Examples can be found, inter alia, in the placebo, attribution theory, theory of mind, and comparative psychological literatures. Research on belief also provides evidence for robust generalizations, including about how we fix, store, and change our beliefs. Evidence supports the existence of a Spinozan system of belief fixation: one that is automatic (...)
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  • Objectivity and Perspectival Content.Max Kölbel - 2019 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):137-159.
    What is objectivity? What would it take to have objective representations and do we have what it takes? This paper aims to contribute to answering these questions. To this end, it isolates one relevant sense of objectivity and proposes a generalization of standard frameworks of representational content in order to engage with the question in a way that is rhetorically fair. Armed with a general conception of perspectival content, taken from the literature on centred or de se content, the paper (...)
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  • What is Special about De Se Attitudes?Stephan Torre & Clas Weber - 2021 - In Heimir Geirsson & Stephen Biggs (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference. New York: Routledge. pp. 464-481.
    De se attitudes seem to play a special role in action and cognition. This raises a challenge to the traditional way in which mental attitudes have been understood. In this chapter, we review the case for thinking that de se attitudes require special theoretical treatment and discuss various ways in which the traditional theory can be modified to accommodate de se attitudes.
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  • What is special about indexical attitudes?Matheus Valente - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):692-712.
    In this paper, I assess whether indexical attitudes, e.g. beliefs and desires, have any special properties or present any special challenge to theories of propositional attitudes. I being by investigating the claim that allegedly problematic indexical cases are just instances of the familiar phenomenon of referential opacity. Regardless of endorsing that claim, I provide an argument to the effect that indexical attitudes do have a special property. My argument relies on the fact that one cannot account for what is it (...)
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  • Indistinguishable Senses.Aidan Gray - 2018 - Noûs 54 (1):78-104.
    Fregeanism and Relationism are competing families of solutions to Frege’s Puzzle, and by extension, competing theories of propositional representation. My aim is to clarify what is at stake between them by characterizing and evaluating a Relationist argument. Relationists claim that it is cognitively possible for distinct token propositional attitudes to be, in a sense, qualitatively indistinguishable: to differ in no intrinsic representational features. The idea of an ‘intrinsic representational feature’ is not, however, made especially clear in the argument. I clarify (...)
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  • The philosophical significance of the De Se.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):253-276.
    Inspired by Castañeda, Perry and Lewis argued that, among singular thoughts in general, thoughts about oneself ‘as oneself’ – first-personal thoughts, which Lewis aptly called de se – call for special treatment: we need to abandon one of two traditional assumptions on the contents needed to provide rationalizing explanations, their shareability or their absoluteness. Their arguments have been very influential; one might take them as establishing a new ‘effect’ – new philosophical evidence in need of being accounted for. This is (...)
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  • First-Person Perspective in Experience: Perspectival De Se Representation as an Explanation of the Delimitation Problem.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2024 - Erkenntnis 89 (3):947-969.
    In developing a theory of consciousness, one of the main problems has to do with determining what distinguishes conscious states from non-conscious ones—the delimitation problem. This paper explores the possibility of solving this problem in terms of self-awareness. That self-awareness is essential to understanding the nature of our conscious experience is perhaps the most widely discussed hypothesis in the study of consciousness throughout the history of philosophy. Its plausibility hinges on how the notion of self-awareness is unpacked. The idea that (...)
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  • Communicating and Disagreeing with Distinct Concepts: A Defense of Semantic Internalism.Matheus Valente - 2019 - Theoria 85 (4):312-336.
    I suggest a solution to a conflict between semantic internalism – according to which the concepts one expresses are determined by one's use of representations – and publicity – according to which, if two subjects successfully communicate or are in genuine agreement, then they entertain thoughts constituted by the same concepts. My solution rests on the thesis that there can be successful communication and genuine agreement between thinkers employing distinct concepts as long as there is a certain relation (of conceptually (...)
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  • First-Person Thought.Daniel Morgan & Léa Salje - 2020 - Analysis 80 (1):148-163.
    Subjects have various ways of thinking about themselves. Here are three examples: a subject can think of herself under an appropriate description (the hiker), d.
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  • Indexicality and action: why we need indexical beliefs to motivate intentional actions.Juliana Faccio Lima - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (7):711-731.
    ABSTRACT Are indexical beliefs necessary to explain intentional bodily actions? De se believers argue that we cannot explain intentional bodily actions unless we appeal to indexical beliefs. De se sceptics disagree. Joining the sceptics, Cappelen and Dever have recently advanced a counterexample to de se believers's claim: a case of intentional bodily action that can be explained by their proposed indexical-free Action Inventory Model. In this paper, I argue that the de se sceptics's counterexample ultimately does not work. My argument (...)
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  • Explaining Public Action.Víctor M. Verdejo - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):475-485.
    Actions are uncontroversially public. However, the prevailing model of explanation in the debate about the de se seems to conflict with this fact by proposing agent-specific explanations that yield agent-specific types of action—i.e. types of action that no two agents can instantiate. Remarkably, this point affects both proponents and critics of the de se. In this paper, I present this kind of problem, characterise the proper level of analysis for action explanation compatible with the publicity of action—i.e. the agent-bound level—and (...)
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  • Communicating Egocentric Beliefs: Two-Content Accounts.Jens Kipper - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (5):947-967.
    It has long been known that the popular account of egocentric thoughts developed by David Lewis is in conflict with a natural account of communication, according to which successful communication requires the transmission of a thought content from speaker to hearer. In this paper, I discuss a number of proposed attempts to reconcile these two accounts of egocentric thought and communication. Each of them postulates two kinds of mental content, where one is egocentric, and the other is transmitted from speaker (...)
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  • Navigation and Indexical Thought.Andreas Stokke - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1659-1681.
    This paper argues for a moderate form of essentialism about indexical thought. According to this moderate essentialism, there is a significant category of intentional action that necessarily involves indexical thought. This category of action is navigation, that is, intentionally moving from one location to another by using public information about the world such as a map or a set of directions. It is shown that anti-essentialists face a challenge in accounting for this kind of action without accepting the involvement of (...)
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  • The content of indexical belief.Tamar Lando - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):107-127.
    I argue that a recent variation on the Sleeping Beauty case due to Titelbaum [2012a] puts significant pressure on Lewis's theory of doxastic content—the theory of content that Titelbaum and others presuppose. In particular, that theory cannot make sense of the rational constraints on credences imposed by the Principal Principle, as ordinarily understood. I then argue more generally that any theory on which contents of credences are sets of centered worlds cannot adequately represent all of the rational constraints on credences.
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  • De Se Attitudes and Computation.Neil Hamilton Fairley - 2020 - Theoria 87 (1):207-229.
    There has been debate between those who maintain that indexical expressions are not essential and those who maintain that such indexicals cannot be dispensed with without an important loss of content. This version of the essentialist view holds that thoughts must also have indexical elements. Indexical thoughts appear to be in tension with the computational theory of mind. In this case we have the following inconsistent triad: De se thoughts are essential. De se thoughts are indexical, they have a character. (...)
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  • The meaning of “I” in “I”‐thought.Minyao Huang - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (5):480-501.
    “I”‐thought is often taken to have a special cognitive significance, with “I” symbolising a subjective way of thinking about oneself that is inapt for communication. In this paper I argue that the way one thinks of oneself in “I”‐thought is immaterial to the meaning of “I,” for in general the psychological role associated with a referential expression is separable from its meaning. With respect to “I,” I suggest that its meaning consists in an interpersonal way of fixing its reference in (...)
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  • Bringing transparency to the de se debates.Ekain Garmendia Mujika - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations:1-18.
    There has been much discussion over the last decade between so-called ‘de se skeptics’ and ‘de se exceptionalists’. The debate concerns claims made by John Perry and David Lewis in 1979 on the basis of some now-famous examples they introduced. In this paper, I argue that different problems and questions have commonly been conflated when approaching these issues, and I reframe the whole debate by appealing to two theses on the transparency of mental content that have been widely overlooked. These (...)
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  • De Se Pragmatics.Andy Egan - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):144-164.
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