Acquaintance and first-person attitude reports

Analysis 79 (2):251-259 (2019)
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It is often assumed that singular thought requires that an agent be epistemically acquainted with the object the thought is about. However, it can sometimes truthfully be said of someone that they have a belief about an object, despite not being interestingly epistemically acquainted with that object. In defense of an epistemic acquaintance constraint on singular thought, it is thus often claimed that belief ascriptions are context sensitive and do not always track the contents of an agent’s mental states. This paper uses first-person attitude reports to argue that contextualism about belief ascriptions does not present an adequate defense of an acquaintance constraint on singular thought.

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Henry Ian Schiller
University of Sheffield


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