Review Essay of Dorit Bar-On’s Speaking My Mind [Book Review]

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
“Avowals” are utterances that “ascribe [current] states of mind”; for instance utterances of ‘I have a terrible headache’ and ‘I’m finding this painting utterly puzzling’ (Bar-On 2004: 1). And avowals, “when compared to ordinary empirical reports…appear to enjoy distinctive security” (1), which Bar-On elaborates as follows: A subject who avows being tired, or scared of something, or thinking that p, is normally presumed to have the last word on the relevant matters; we would not presume to criticize her self-ascription or to reject it on the basis of our contrary judgement. Furthermore, unlike ordinary empirical reports, and somewhat like apriori statements, avowals are issued with a very high degree of confidence and are not easily subjected to doubt. (3) The project of this ambitious, original, and challenging book is to explain why avowals have this distinctive security. Bar-On’s guiding idea is that avowals “can be seen as pieces of expressive behavior, similar in certain ways to bits of behavior that naturally express subjects’ states” (227). Crying and moaning are natural expressions of pain, yawning is a natural expression of tiredness, reaching for beer is a natural expression of the desire for beer, and so on. In some important sense, avowals are supposed to be like that. In what sense, though? It will be useful to begin with the simplest answer.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BYRREO-2
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-11-07
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Blue and Brown Books.Wittgenstein, Ludwig

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
112 ( #18,521 of 35,452 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #25,676 of 35,452 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.