Belief about the Self: A Defense of the Property Theory of Content

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Oxford University Press, Jul 24, 2008 - Philosophy - 216 pages
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Philosophers typically suppose that the contents of our beliefs and other cognitive attitudes are propositions-things that might be true or false, and their truth values do not vary from time to time, place to place, or person to person. Neil Feit argues that this view breaks down in the face of beliefs about the self. These are beliefs that we express by means of a first-person pronoun. Feit maintains-following David Lewis, Roderick Chisholm, and others-that in general, the contents of our beliefs are properties. Unlike propositions, properties lack absolute truth values that do not vary with time, place, or person. Belief about the Self offers a sustained defense of the Property Theory of Content, according to which the content of every cognitive attitude is a property rather than a proposition. The theory is supported with an array of new arguments, defended from various objections, and applied to some important problems and puzzles in the philosophy of mind.
 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Mental Content and the Problem of De Se Belief
3
Chapter 2 In Favor of the Property Theory
25
Chapter 3 Alternatives to the Property Theory
59
Chapter 4 Arguments against the Property Theory
91
Chapter 5 The Property Theory and De Re Belief
117
Chapter 6 The Property Theory Rationality and Kripkes Puzzle about Belief
141
Chapter 7 The Property Theory Twin Earth and Belief about Kinds
163
References
187
Index
193
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About the author (2008)

Neil FeitAssociate Professor of Philosophy, SUNY Fredonia

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