Birkbeck, University of London
Birkbeck College, University Of London
  •  240
    Propositions on the cheap
    Philosophical Studies 176 (12): 3159-3178. 2018.
    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…Read more
  •  94
    To Believe Is Not To Believe True: Reply to Sankey
    Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology (1): 137-138. 2019.
    A short reply to Sankey's 'To Believe is to Believe True'
  •  93
    What Acquaintance Teaches
    In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    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 one must know an appropriate propositional…Read more
  •  61
    In discussions of the metaphysics and normativity of the emotions, it is commonplace to wheel out examples of (for instance) 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 (at least in part) judgements or beliefs. But more recently, the very theories that emerged from the failure of Cognitivism (Perceptual theories and other Neo-Cognitivist approaches) have been argued to f…Read more
  •  245
    The Real Trouble with Recalcitrant Emotions
    Erkenntnis 82 (3): 641-651. 2016.
    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 has come under heavy criticism tha…Read more
  •  108
    A relational theory of non-propositional attitudes
    In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    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 the world. This book expl…Read more
  •  147
    Non-propositional intentionality: an introduction
    In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
    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 the world. This book expl…Read more
  •  2
    Non-Propositional Intentionality (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2018.
    This book explores how our minds represent things in the world, asking whether these representations necessarily have the structure of propositions about the world. The hope is that this will lead towards a more complete understanding of the puzzle of intentionality -- how it is that our minds make contact with the world.
  •  141
    Non-propositional Contents and How to Find Them
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (3-4): 233-241. forthcoming.
    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 c…Read more
  •  253
    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 an…Read more
  •  249
    Non‐Propositional Attitudes
    Philosophy Compass 8 (12): 1123-1137. 2013.
    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 prese…Read more
  •  496
    Not All Attitudes are Propositional
    European Journal of Philosophy (3): 374-391. 2012.
    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 …Read more
  •  233
    Attitudes Towards Objects
    Noûs 50 (2): 314-328. 2016.
    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 o…Read more
  •  143
    Pictures Have Propositional Content
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (1): 151-163. 2015.
    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 u…Read more
  •  98
    ‘Can’ and the Consequence Argument
    Ratio 27 (2): 173-189. 2014.
    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 th…Read more
  •  175
    Limits of propositionalism
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (7-8): 819-838. 2016.
    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…Read more