Propositional Attitudes as Self-Ascriptions

In Luis R. G. Oliveira & Kevin Corcoran (eds.), Common Sense Metaphysics: Themes From the Philosophy of Lynne Rudder Baker. Oxford, UK: Routledge. pp. 54-74 (2020)
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According to Lynne Rudder Baker’s Practical Realism, we know that we have beliefs, desires, and other propositional attitudes independent of any scientific investigation. Propositional attitudes are an indispensable part of our everyday conception of the world and not in need of scientific validation. This paper asks what is the nature of the attitudes such that we may know them so well from a commonsense perspective. I argue for a self-ascriptivist view, on which we have propositional attitudes in virtue of ascribing them to ourselves. On this view, propositional attitudes are derived representational states, deriving their contents and their attitude types from our self-ascriptions.

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Angela Mendelovici
University of Western Ontario


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