Philosophical Studies

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 81–97 | Cite as

Knowing Facts and Believing Propositions: A Solution to the Problem of Doxastic Shift

  • Marc A. Moffett


The Problem of Doxastic Shift may be stated as a dilemma: on the one hand, the distribution of nominal complements of the form `the ψ that p’ strongly suggests that `that’-clauses cannot be univocally assigned propositionaldenotations; on the other hand, facts about quantification strongly suggest that `that’-clauses must be assigned univocal denotations. I argue that the Problem may be solved by defining the extension of a proposition to be a set of facts or, more generally, conditions. Given this, the logical operation of descriptive predication can be introduced in a way that resolves the dilemma withoutsacrificing the singular term analysis of `that’-clauses.


Logical Operation Singular Term Term Analysis Descriptive Predication 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bach, K. (1997): ‘Do Belief Reports Report Beliefs?’ Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78, 215–241.Google Scholar
  2. Bealer, G. (1982): Quality and Concept, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bealer, G. (1993): ‘A Solution to Freges Puzzle’, Philosophical Perspectives 7, 17–60.Google Scholar
  4. Bennett, J. (1988): Events and their Names, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Declerck, R. (1991): ‘The Origins of Genericity’, Linguistics 29, 79–102.Google Scholar
  6. Graff, D. (2000): ‘Comments on Marian Davids ‘Truth and Identity’. Syracuse University, Metaphysics Mayhem V, August 14.Google Scholar
  7. Harman, G. (2002): Category mistakes in M & E. Rutgers University, Rutgers Semantics Workshop, May 17.Google Scholar
  8. King, J. (forthcoming): ‘Designating Propositions’, Philosophical Review.Google Scholar
  9. Kirkham, R. (1992): Theories of Truth: A Critical Introduction, Cambridge,MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Krifka, M., Pelletier, F.J., Carlson, G., ter Meulen, A., Link, G. and Chierchia, G. (1995): ‘Genericity: An Introduction’, in Carlson and Pelletier (eds.), The Generic Book, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Menzel, C. (1993): ‘The Proper Treatment of Predication in Fine-grained Intensional Logic’, Philosophical Perspectives: Language and Logic 7, 61–87.Google Scholar
  12. Moffett, Marc A. (2002): ‘Are that-clauses Really Singular Terms? presented at the Eastern Division APA. Philadelphia, PA. December 30, 2002.Google Scholar
  13. Moffett, Marc A. (2003): ‘The Proper Treatment of Intensionality in Ordinary English, unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  14. Neale, S. (2002): Facing Facts, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Parsons, T. (1990): Events in the Semantics of English: A Study in Subatomic Semantics, Cambridge,MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  16. Parsons, T. (1993): ‘On Denoting Propositions and Facts’, Philosophical Perspectives 7, 441–460.Google Scholar
  17. Vendler, Z. (1967): Linguistics in Philosophy, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc A. Moffett
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WyomingLaramieUSA

Personalised recommendations