The Attitudes We Can Have

Philosophical Review 129 (4):591-642 (2020)
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Abstract
I investigate when we can (rationally) have attitudes, and when we cannot. I argue that a comprehensive theory must explain three phenomena. First, being related by descriptions or names to a proposition one has strong reason to believe is true does not guarantee that one can rationally believe that proposition. Second, such descriptions, etc. do enable individuals to rationally have various non-doxastic attitudes, such as hope and admiration. And third, even for non-doxastic attitudes like that, not just any description will allow it. I argue that we should think of attitude formation like we do (practical) choices among options. I motivate this view linguistically, extending "relevant alternatives'' theories of the attitudes to both belief and to the other, non-doxastic attitudes. Given a natural principle governing choice, and some important differences between doxastic and non-doxastic "choices'', we can explain these puzzling phenomena.
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First archival date: 2019-09-03
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