Counterfactual attitudes and multi-centered worlds

Dilip Ninan

Abstract


Counterfactual attitudes like imagining, dreaming, and wishing create a problem for the standard formal semantic theory of de re attitude ascriptions. I show how the problem can be avoided if we represent an agent's attitudinal possibilities using "multi-centered worlds", possible worlds with multiple distinguished individuals, each of which represents an individual with whom the agent is acquainted. I then present a compositional semantics for de re ascriptions according to which singular terms are "assignment-sensitive" expressions and attitude verbs are "assignment shifters".

http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.5.5

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Keywords


de se attitudes, de re attitudes, counterfactual attitudes, pronouns, proper names, presupposition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp.5.5

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 1937-8912

Journal doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3765/sp