Quantifiers and propositional attitudes: Quine revisited

Synthese 160 (1):75 - 96 (2008)
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Abstract

Quine introduced a famous distinction between the ‘notional’ sense and the ‘relational’ sense of certain attitude verbs. The distinction is both intuitive and sound but is often conflated with another distinction Quine draws between ‘dyadic’ and ‘triadic’ (or higher degree) attitudes. I argue that this conflation is largely responsible for the mistaken view that Quine’s account of attitudes is undermined by the problem of the ‘exportation’ of singular terms within attitude contexts. Quine’s system is also supposed to suffer from the problem of ‘suspended judgement with continued belief’. I argue that this criticism fails to take account of a crucial presupposition of Quine’s about the connection between thought and language. The aim of the paper is to defend the spirit of Quine’s account of attitudes by offering solutions to these two problems.

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Sean Crawford
University of Manchester

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