The Problem of Communication in De Se Thoughts


The problem of communication in de se thoughts is the problem of communication of first-person or self-locating thoughts across the speakers of a conversation. The problem mainly stems from the lack of a proper account of attitude and content — an account that is supposed to explain whether or how the context of linguistic utterances is related to the semantic content of a sentence, assertion and belief. In this paper, after introducing two new semantic items, namely, almost-impossible and almost-necessary propositions, that could be taken as theoretically primitive entities in the semantic framework I wish to draw, I propose an account of modified Lewisian-centered content and attitude based on the metaphysical framework of the Lewisian counterpart-theoretic semantics for quantified modal logic to the extent that the modification relies on those new semantic items. I then show that we can solve the problem by using our modified account.

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Aran Arslan
Bogazici University


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