Academic Journals Database
Disseminating quality controlled scientific knowledge

Two Types of Belief Report

Author(s): Michael Hegarty

Journal: The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication
ISSN 1944-3676

Volume: 6;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Ascriptions of belief and other doxastic propositional attitudes are commonly interpreted as quantifying over a set of possible worlds constituting doxastic alternatives for the belief experiencer. Katz (2000, 2003, 2008) has argued that belief predicates and other stative attitude predicates, along with stative predicates generally, lack a Davidsonian event argument and therefore do not report on any eventuality (event or state). Hacquard (2010), in contrast, assumes that all attitude ascriptions describe an event corresponding to the mental state of the attitude experiencer. The present investigation suggests that the strengths of doxastic predicates can be modeled by generalized quantifiers over the doxastic alternative set, permitting us to formulate and test predictions based on standard interactions of these quantifiers with negation when these ascriptions are negated. This provides a middle ground between Katz and Hacquard, whereby some belief ascriptions are interpreted as nothing more than a quantified condition over a doxastic alternative set, while others attribute a Davidsonian belief state to the experiencer. In the latter case, the condition involving quantification over doxastic alternatives is an essential content condition which serves to individuate the eventuality described by the belief report, and to identify it across possible worlds.ReferencesCappelli, G. 2007. “I reckon I know how Leonardo da Vinci must have felt...” Epistemicity, Evidentiality and English Verbs of Cognitive Attitude. Pari: Pari Publishing.Carlson, G. 1998. ‘Thematic roles and the individuation of events’. In S. Rothstein (ed.) ‘Events and Grammar’, 35–51. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Davidson, D. 1980[1967]. ‘The Logical Form of Action Sentences’. In N. Rescher (ed.) ‘The Logic of Decision and Action’, 81–95. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. Reprinted in Davidson, D., Essays on Actions and Events, pp. 105-122. Oxford: Oxford University Press.DeRose, K. 1991. ‘Epistemic possibilities’. The Philosophical Review 100: 581–605., R. 2005. ‘Too poor to mention: Subminimal eventualities and negative polarity items’. In C. Maienborn & A. Wöllstein (eds.) ‘Event Arguments: Foundations and Applications’, 301–330. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag.Eckhardt, R. 2008. ‘The lower part of event ontology’. In J. Dölling, T. Heyde-Zybatow & M. Schäfer (eds.) ‘Event Structures in Linguistic Form and Interpretation’, 477–491. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Egan, A. 2005. ‘Epistemic modals, relativism, and assertion’. In J. Gajewski, V. Hacquard, B. Nickel & S. Yalcin (eds.) ‘New Work on Modality, MIT Working Papers in Linguistics v.51’, 35–62. MIT.Egan, A., Hawthorne, J. & Weatherson, B. 2005. ‘Epistemic modals in context’. In G. Preyer & G. Peter (eds.) ‘Contextualism in Philosophy: Knowledge, Meaning and Truth’, 131–170. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Hacquard, V. 2006. Aspects of Modality. Ph.D. thesis, MIT.Hacquard, V. 2010. ‘On the event relativity of modal auxiliaries’. Natural Language Semantics 18: 79–114., I. 1992. ‘Presupposition projection and the semantics of attitude verbs’. Journal of Semantics 9: 183–221., I. & Kratzer, A. 1998. Semantics in Generative Grammar. Blackwell Publishers.Higginbotham, J. 1983. ‘The logic of perceptual reports: An extensional alternative to Situation Semantics’. The Journal of Philosophy 80: 100–127., J. 1985. ‘On Semantics’. Linguistic Inquiry 16: 547–593.Higginbotham, J. 1989. ‘Elucidations of Meaning’. Linguistics and Philosophy 12: 465–517., J. 2000. ‘On events in linguistic semantics’. In J. Higginbotham, F. Pianesi & A. C. Varzi (eds.) ‘Speaking of Events’, 49–79. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Hintikka, J. 1969. ‘Semantics of propositional attitudes’. In J. W. Davis, D. J. Hockney & W. K. Wilson (eds.) ‘Philosophical Logic’, 21–45. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.Horn, L. 1989. A Natural History of Negation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Katz, G. 2000. ‘Anti neo-Davidsonianism’. In C. Tenny & J. Pustejovsky (eds.) ‘Events as Grammatical Objects: The Converging Perspectives of Lexical Semantics and Syntax’, 393–414. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.Katz, G. 2003. ‘Event arguments, adverb selection, and the Stative Adverb Gap’. In E. Lang, C. Maienbron & C. Fabricius-Hansen (eds.) ‘Modifying Adjuncts. (Interface Explorations 4)’, 455–474. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Katz, G. 2008. ‘Manner modification of state verbs’. In L. McNally & C. Kennedy (eds.) ‘Adjective and Adverbs’, 220–248. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Kratzer, A. 1979. ‘Conditional necessity and possibility’. In R. Bäuerle, U. Egli & A. von Stechow (eds.) ‘Semantics from Different Points of View’, 117–147. Berlin: SpringerVerlag.Kratzer, A. 1981. ‘The notional category of modality’. In H. Eikmeyer & H. Rieser (eds.) ‘Words, Worlds, and Contexts: New Approaches in Word Semantics’, 38–74. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Kratzer, A. 1989. ‘Stage-level and individual-level predicates’. In G. N. Carlson & F. J. Pelletier (eds.) ‘The Generic Book’, 125–175. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Kratzer, A. 1991. ‘Modality’. In A. von Stechow & D. Wunderlich (eds.) ‘Semantik: Ein internationales Handbuch der eitgenössischen Forschung / Semantics: An International Handbook of Contemporary Research,’, 639–650. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.Lewis, D. 1975. ‘Adverbs of quantification’. In E. L. Keenan (ed.) ‘Formal Semantics of Natural Language’, 3–15. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Reprinted in Portner, P. & Partee, B. H. (eds.), Formal Semantics: The Essential Readings, pp. 178-188. Blackwell Publishers.Lewis, D. 1986. ‘Events’. In ‘Philosophical Papers, Volume II’, 241–269. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Moltmann, F. 1997. Parts and Wholes in Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Parsons, T. 1990. Events in the Semantics of English: A Study in Subatomic Semantics. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Simons, M. 2007. ‘Observations on embedding verbs, evidentiality, and presupposition’. Lingua 117: 1034–1056., R. 1998. ‘On the representation of context’. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 7: 3–19., J. O. 1952. ‘Parenthetical verbs’. Mind 61: 480–496. Fintel, K. & Gillies, A. 2008a. ‘An opinionated guide to epistemic modality’. In T. Sz. Gendler & J. Hawthorne (eds.) ‘Oxford Studies in Epistemology 2’, 32–62. Oxford: Oxford University Press.von Fintel, K. & Gillies, A. 2008b. ‘CIA leaks’. The Philosophical Review 117: 77–98.
Affiliate Program     

Tango Rapperswil
Tango Rapperswil