The Problem of Self-Locating Beliefs in Robert Stalnaker’s Theory
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beliefs de se
singular propositions
possible-world semantics



Self-locating beliefs are problematic for the popular theory according to which a belief is a two-argument relation between a thinker and a proposition. The theory does not explain the cognitive value of self-locating beliefs and their impact on behavior. Self-locating beliefs seem to be irreducible to singular beliefs about oneself, because one might have the latter without having the former. David Lewis, John Perry, and Robert Stalnaker each proposed a different solution to the problem. Stalnaker – unlike Perry and Lewis – defends the traditional theory of beliefs. His solution requires an assumption that a lack of self-locating belief can always be represented as ignorance with regard to which world is the actual one. I discuss Clas Weber’s arguments against this solution.

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Frege, Gottlob (1918), Myśl – studium logiczne, w: Frege, G. (2014), Pisma semantyczne, Warszawa: PWN, s. 101–129.

Lewis, David (1979), Attitudes De Dicto and De Se, „The Philosophical Review” Vol. 88, No. 4, s. 513–543.

Perry, John (1979), The Problem of the Essential Indexical, w: Perry, J. (2000), The Problem of the Essential Indexical and Other Essays, Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Stalnaker (2011) przedstawia trzy argumenty przeciwko możliwości wewnątrzświatowej niewiedzy.

Stalnaker, Robert (1978), Assertion, w: Stalnaker, R. (1999), Context and Content, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stalnaker, Robert (1981), Indexical Belief, w: Stalnaker, R. (1999), Context and Content, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stalnaker, Robert (2008), Our Knowledge of the Internal World, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Stalnaker, Robert (2011), The Essential Contextual, w: J. Brown, H. Cappelen (eds.), Assertion: New Philosophical Essays, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Weber, Clas (2015), Indexical Beliefs and Communication: Against Stalnaker on Self-Location, „Philosophy and Phenomenological Research” 90(3), s. 640–663.