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Alex Grzankowski
Birkbeck, University of London
  1. Attitudes Towards Objects.Alex Grzankowski - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):314-328.
    This paper offers a positive account of an important but under-explored class of mental states, non-propositional attitudes such as loving one’s department, liking lattice structures, fearing Freddy Krueger, and hating Sherlock Holmes. In broadest terms, the view reached is a representationalist account guided by two puzzles. The proposal allows one to say in an elegant way what differentiates a propositional attitude from an attitude merely about a proposition. The proposal also allows one to offer a unified account of the non-propositional (...)
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  2. Propositions on the Cheap.Alex Grzankowski & Ray Buchanan - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3159-3178.
    According to the classical account, propositions are sui generis, abstract, intrinsically-representational entities and our cognitive attitudes, and the token states within us that realize those attitudes, represent as they do in virtue of their propositional objects. In light of a desire to explain how it could be that propositions represent, much of the recent literature on propositions has pressured various aspects of this account. In place of the classical account, revisionists have aimed to understand propositions in terms of more familiar (...)
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  3. Not All Attitudes Are Propositional.Alex Grzankowski - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy (3):374-391.
    Most contemporary philosophical discussions of intentionality start and end with a treatment of the propositional attitudes. In fact, many theorists hold that all attitudes are propositional attitudes. Our folk-psychological ascriptions suggest, however, that there are non-propositional attitudes: I like Sally, my brother fears snakes, everyone loves my grandmother, and Rush Limbaugh hates Obama. I argue that things are as they appear: there are non-propositional attitudes. More specifically, I argue that there are attitudes that relate individuals to non-propositional objects and do (...)
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  4. A Relational Theory of Non-Propositional Attitudes.Alex Grzankowski - 2018 - In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
    Book synopsis: Our mental lives are entwined with the world. There are worldly things that we have beliefs about and things in the world we desire to have happen. We find some things fearsome and others likable. The puzzle of intentionality — how it is that our minds make contact with the world — is one of the oldest and most vexed issues facing philosophers. Many contemporary philosophers and cognitive scientists have been attracted to the idea that our minds represent (...)
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  5. The Determinable–Determinate Relation Can’T Save Adverbialism.Alex Grzankowski - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):45-52.
    Adverbialist theories of thought such as those advanced by Hare and Sellars promise an ontologically sleek understanding of a variety of intentional states, but such theories have been largely abandoned due to the ‘many-property problem’. In an attempt to revitalize this otherwise attractive theory, in a series of papers as well as his recent book, Uriah Kriegel has offered a novel reply to the ‘many-property problem’ and on its basis he argues that ‘adverbialism about intentionality is alive and well’. If (...)
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  6. The Real Trouble with Recalcitrant Emotions.Alex Grzankowski - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):641-651.
    Cognitivists about the emotions minimally hold that it is a necessary condition for being in an emotional state that one make a certain judgement or have a certain belief. For example, if I am angry with Sam, then I must believe that Sam has wronged me. Perhaps I must also elicit a certainly bodily response or undergo some relevant experience, but crucial to the view is the belief or judgement. In the face of ‘recalcitrant emotions’, this once very popular view (...)
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  7. Pictures Have Propositional Content.Alex Grzankowski - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (1):151-163.
    Although philosophers of art and aesthetics regularly appeal to a notion of ‘pictorial content’, there is little agreement over its nature. The present paper argues that pictures have propositional contents. This conclusion is reached by considering a style of argument having to do with the phenomenon of negation intended to show that pictures must have some kind of non-propositional content. I first offer reasons for thinking that arguments of that type fail. Second, I show that when properly understood, such arguments (...)
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  8. Non-Propositional Intentionality: An Introduction.Alex Grzankowski & M. Montague - forthcoming - In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
    Book synopsis: Our mental lives are entwined with the world. There are worldly things that we have beliefs about and things in the world we desire to have happen. We find some things fearsome and others likable. The puzzle of intentionality — how it is that our minds make contact with the world — is one of the oldest and most vexed issues facing philosophers. Many contemporary philosophers and cognitive scientists have been attracted to the idea that our minds represent (...)
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  9. Non‐Propositional Attitudes.Alex Grzankowski - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1123-1137.
    Intentionality, or the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for things, remains central in the philosophy of mind. But the study of intentionality in the analytic tradition has been dominated by discussions of propositional attitudes such as belief, desire, and visual perception. There are, however, intentional states that aren't obviously propositional attitudes. For example, Indiana Jones fears snakes, Antony loves Cleopatra, and Jane hates the monster under her bed. The present paper explores such mental states (...)
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  10. To Believe Is Not To Believe True: Reply to Sankey.Alex Grzankowski - 2019 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology (1):137-138.
    A short reply to Sankey's 'To Believe is to Believe True'.
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  11. Limits of Propositionalism.Alex Grzankowski - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (7-8):819-838.
    Propositionalists hold that, fundamentally, all attitudes are propositional attitudes. A number of philosophers have recently called the propositionalist thesis into question. It has been argued, successfully I believe, that there are attitudes that are of or about things but which do not have a propositional content concerning those things. If correct, our theories of mind will include non-propositional attitudes as well as propositional attitudes. In light of this, Sinhababu’s recent attack on anti-propositionalists is noteworthy. The present paper aims to sharpen (...)
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  12. Non-Propositional Contents and How to Find Them.Alex Grzankowski - forthcoming - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (3-4):233-241.
    To understand what non-propositional content is and whether there are any such contents, we first need to know what propositional content is. That issue will be the focus of the first section of this essay. In the second section, with an understanding of propositional content in hand, we will consider representations that fail to have propositional content. In contrast to recent literature, it will be argued that metaphysical considerations concerning what's represented, rather than linguistic considerations, are a more promising way (...)
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  13. ‘Can’ and the Consequence Argument.Alex Grzankowski - 2014 - Ratio 27 (2):173-189.
    The consequence argument is a powerful incompatibilist argument for the conclusion that, if determinism is true, what one does is what one must do. A major point of controversy between classical compatibilists and incompatibilists has been over the use of ‘can’ in the consequence argument. Classical compatibilists, holding that abilities to act are dispositions, have argued that ‘can’ should be analyzed as a conditional. But such an analysis of ‘can’ puts compatibilists in a position to grant the premises of the (...)
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  14. The Significance of the Many Property Problem.Tim Crane & Alex Grzankowski - manuscript
    One of the most influential traditional objections to Adverbialism about perceptual experience is that posed by Frank Jackson’s ‘many property problem’. Perhaps largely because of this objection, few philosophers now defend Adverbialism. We argue, however, that the essence of the many property problem arises for all of the leading metaphysical theories of experience: all leading theories must simply take for granted certain facts about experience, and no theory looks well positioned to explain the facts in a straightforward way. Because of (...)
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  15.  93
    A Puzzle for Evaluation Theories of Desire.Alex Grzankowski - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):90-98.
    How we evaluate things and what we desire are closely connected. In typical cases, the things we desire are things that we evaluate as good or desirable. According to evaluation theories of desire, this connection is a very tight one: desires are evaluations of their objects as good or as desirable. There are two main varieties of this view. According to Doxastic Evaluativism, to desire that p is to believe or judge that p is good. According to Perceptual Evaluativism, to (...)
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  16. Content Pluralism.Alex Grzankowski & Ray Buchanan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    How fine-grained are the contents of our beliefs and other cognitive attitudes? Are the contents of our beliefs individuated solely in terms of the objects, properties, and relations that figure in their truth conditions, or rather in terms of our concepts, or modes of presentation of those objects, properties, and relations? So-called Millians famously maintain the former whereas their Fregean rivals hold the latter. Though much ink was spilled on the question of grain, relatively little was ever achieved by way (...)
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  17. Navigating Recalcitrant Emotions.Alex Grzankowski - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (9):501-519.
    In discussions of the emotions, it is commonplace to wheel out examples of people who know that rollercoasters aren’t dangerous but who fear them anyway. Such cases are well known to have been troubling for cognitivists who hold the emotions are judgments or beliefs. But more recently, it has been argued that the very theories that emerged from the failure of cognitivism face trouble as well. One gets the sense that the theory that can accomplish this will win a crucial (...)
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  18.  63
    Propositions as Objects of the Attitudes.Ray Buchanan & Alex Grzankowski - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
    Propositions are the things we believe, intend, desire, and so on, but discussions are often less precise than they could be and an important driver of this deficiency has been a focus on the objects but a neglect of the attitudinal relations we bear to them. In what follows, we will offer some thoughts on what it means for a proposition to be the object of an attitude and we will argue that an important part of the story lies with (...)
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  19. What Acquaintance Teaches.Alex Grzankowski & Michael Tye - forthcoming - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    In her black and white room, Mary doesn’t know what it is like to see red. Only after undergoing an experience as of something red and hence acquainting herself with red can Mary learn what it is like. But learning what it is like to see red requires more than simply becoming acquainted with it. To be acquainted with something is to know it, but such knowledge, as we argue, is object-knowledge rather than propositional-knowledge. To know what it is like (...)
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