• Commonsense psychological explanation of action upon objects seems to require not only reference to agents’ demonstrative beliefs about the objects acted upon but also the de re ascription of these demonstrative beliefs. There is an influential objection, however, to the de re component: since de re ascriptions permit the attribution to agents of inconsistent attitudes about the objects acted upon, they cannot explain (or predict) agents’ actions upon those objects. This paper answers the object…Read more
  •  577
    The Sources of Intentionality by Uriah Kriegel (review)
    Analysis 73 (1): 190-193. 2013.
    This is a review of Uriah Kriegal's book on intentionality, The Sources of Intentionality.
  •  431
    The theory of object-dependent singular thought is outlined and the central motivation for it, turning on the connection between thought content and truth conditions, is discussed. Some of its consequences for the epistemology of thought are noted and connections are drawn to the general doctrine of externalism about thought content. Some of the main criticisms of the object-dependent view of singular thought are outlined. Rival conceptions of singular thought are also sketched and their problem…Read more
  •  187
    The paper presents a new theory of perceptual demonstrative thought, the property-dependent theory. It argues that the theory is superior to both the object-dependent theory (Evans, McDowell) and the object-independent theory (Burge).
  •  1036
    Quine introduced a famous distinction between the ‘notional’ sense and the ‘relational’ sense of certain attitude verbs. The distinction is both intuitive and sound but is often conflated with another distinction Quine draws between ‘dyadic’ and ‘triadic’ (or higher degree) attitudes. I argue that this conflation is largely responsible for the mistaken view that Quine’s account of attitudes is undermined by the problem of the ‘exportation’ of singular terms within attitude contexts. Quine’s syst…Read more
  •  860
    On the Logical Positivists' Philosophy of Psychology: Laying a Legend to Rest
    In Maria Carla Galavotti, Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao J. Gonzalez, Stephan Hartmann, Thomas Uebel & Marcel Weber (eds.), New Directions in Philosophy of Science. The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective Vol. 5, Springer. pp. 711-726. 2014.
    The received view in the history of the philosophy of psychology is that the logical positivists—Carnap and Hempel in particular—endorsed the position commonly known as “logical” or “analytical” behaviourism, according to which the relations between psychological statements and the physical-behavioural statements intended to give their meaning are analytic and knowable a priori. This chapter argues that this is sheer legend: most, if not all, such relations were viewed by the logical positivists…Read more
  •  341
    Pure Russellianism
    Philosophical Papers 33 (2): 171-202. 2004.
    Abstract According to Russellianism, the content of a Russellian thought, in which a person ascribes a monadic property to an object, can be represented as an ordered couple of the object and the property. A consequence of this is that it is not possible for a person to believe that a is F and not to believe b is F, when a=b. Many critics of Russellianism suppose that this is possible and thus that Russellianism is false. Several arguments for this claim are criticized and it is argued that Russ…Read more
  •  121
    A number of traditional roles that propositions are supposed to play are outlined. Philosophical theories of the nature of propositions are then surveyed, together with considerations for and against, with an eye on the question whether any single notion of a proposition is suited to play all or any of these roles. Approaches discussed include: (1) the structureless possible-worlds theory; (2) the structured Russellian theory; and (3) the structured Fregean theory. It is noted that it is often u…Read more
  •  258
    Relational properties, causal powers and psychological laws
    Acta Analytica 18 (30-31): 193-216. 2003.
    This paper argues that Twin Earth twins belong to the same psychological natural kind, but that the reason for this is not that the causal powers of mental states supervene on local neural structure. Fodor’s argument for this latter thesis is criticized and found to rest on a confusion between it and the claim that Putnamian and Burgean type relational psychological properties do not affect the causal powers of the mental states that have them. While it is true that Putnamian and Burgean type re…Read more
  •  827
    A solution for Russellians to a puzzle about belief
    Analysis 64 (3): 223-29. 2004.
    According to Russellianism (or Millianism), the two sentences ‘Ralph believes George Eliot is a novelist’ and ‘Ralph believes Mary Ann Evans is a novelist’ cannot diverge in truth-value, since they express the same proposition. The problem for the Russellian (or Millian) is that a puzzle of Kaplan’s seems to show that they can diverge in truth-value and that therefore, since the Russellian holds that they express the same proposition, the Russellian view is contradictory. I argue that the standa…Read more
  •  345
    v. 1. Foundations -- v. 2. The mind-body problem -- v. 3. Intentionality -- v. 4. Consciousness.
  •  1820
    The identity theory’s rise to prominence in analytic philosophy of mind during the late 1950s and early 1960s is widely seen as a watershed in the development of physicalism, in the sense that whereas logical behaviourism proposed analytic and a priori ascertainable identities between the meanings of mental and physical-behavioural concepts, the identity theory proposed synthetic and a posteriori knowable identities between mental and physical properties. While this watershed does exist, the sta…Read more
  •  642
    De Re and De Dicto Explanation of Action
    Philosophia 40 (4): 783-798. 2012.
    This paper argues for an account of the relation between thought ascription and the explanation of action according to which de re ascriptions and de dicto ascriptions of thought each form the basis for two different kinds of action explanations, nonrationalizing and rationalizing ones. The claim that de dicto ascriptions explain action is familiar and virtually beyond dispute; the claim that that de re ascriptions are explanatory of action, however, is not at all familiar and indeed has mostly …Read more
  •  745
    Propositional or Non-Propositional Attitudes?
    Philosophical Studies 168 (1): 179-210. 2014.
    Propositionalism is the view that intentional attitudes, such as belief, are relations to propositions. Propositionalists argue that propositionalism follows from the intuitive validity of certain kinds of inferences involving attitude reports. Jubien (2001) argues powerfully against propositions and sketches some interesting positive proposals, based on Russell’s multiple relation theory of judgment, about how to accommodate “propositional phenomena” without appeal to propositions. This paper a…Read more
  •  505
    In defence of object-dependent thoughts
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (2): 201-210. 1998.
    The existence of object-dependent thoughts has been doubted on the grounds that reference to such thoughts is unnecessary or 'redundant' in the psychological explanation of intentional action. This paper argues to the contrary that reference to object-dependent thoughts is necessary to the proper psychological explanation of intentional action upon objects. Section I sets out the argument for the alleged explanatory redundancy of object-dependent thoughts; an argument which turns on the coherenc…Read more