The Problem of De Se Assertion
- Isidora Stojanovic
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
It has been long known (Perry in Philos Rev 86: 474–497, 1977; Noûs 13: 3–21, 1979, Lewis in Philos Rev 88: 513–543 1981) that de se attitudes, such as beliefs and desires that one has about oneself, call for a special treatment in theories of attitudinal content. The aim of this paper is to raise similar concerns for theories of asserted content. The received view, inherited from Kaplan (1989), has it that if Alma says “I am hungry,” the asserted content, or what is said, is the proposition that Alma is hungry (at a given time). I argue that the received view has difficulties handling de se assertion, i.e., contents that one expresses using the first person pronoun, to assert something about oneself. I start from the observation that when two speakers say “I am hungry,” one may truly report them as having said the same thing. It has often been held that the possibility of such reports comes from the fact that the two speakers are, after all, uttering the same words, and are in this sense “saying the same thing”. I argue that this approach fails, and that it is neither necessary nor sufficient to use the same words, or words endowed with the same meaning, in order to be truly reported as same-saying. I also argue that reports of same-saying in the case of de se assertion differ significantly from such reports in the case of two speakers merely implicating the same thing.
- Bach, K (2001) You don’t say?. Synthese 128: pp. 15-44 CrossRef
- Egan, A (2007) Epistemic modals, relativism and assertion. Philosophical Studies 133: pp. 1-22 CrossRef
- Everett, A. (2000). Saying, same-saying, and what is said. PhD dissertation, Stanford University.
- Feldman, R (1980) Saying different things. Philosophical Studies 38: pp. 79-84 CrossRef
- Frege, G. (1899). Logic. The Frege reader. Ed. K. Beaney. Oxford: Blackwell (1997). 227–50.
- Kaplan, D. (1989). Demonstratives. In J. Almog et al. (Eds.), Themes from Kaplan (pp. 481–563). Oxford: Oxford UP.
- Lappin, S The interpretation of ellipsis. In: Lappin, S eds. (1996) The handbook of contemporary semantic theory. Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 145-176
- Lewis, D Index, content and context. In: Kanger, S, Ohman, S eds. (1980) Philosophy and grammar. Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 79-100
- Lewis, D (1981) Attitudes de dicto and de se. The Philosophical Review 88: pp. 513-543 CrossRef
- Perry, J (1977) Frege on demonstratives. Philosophical Review 86: pp. 474-497 CrossRef
- Perry, J (1979) The problem of the essential indexical. Noûs 13: pp. 3-21 CrossRef
- Recanati, F (2004) Literal meaning. Cambridge UP, Cambridge
- Salmon, N (1986) Frege’s puzzle. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA
- Soames, S (2002) Beyond rigidity. Oxford UP, Oxford
- Ziff, P What is said. In: Davidson, D, Harman, G eds. (1972) Natural language semantics. Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 709-721 CrossRef
- The Problem of De Se Assertion
Volume 76, Issue 1 , pp 49-58
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Institut Jean-Nicod, CNRS-ENS-EHESS, ENS 29 rue d’Ulm, Pavillon Jardin, 75005, Paris, France