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De Se Beliefs, Self-Ascription, and Primitiveness

Florian L. Wüstholz
Published Online: 2018-03-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0012

Abstract

De se beliefs typically pose a problem for propositional theories of content. The Property Theory of content tries to overcome the problem of de se beliefs by taking properties to be the objects of our beliefs. I argue that the concept of self-ascription plays a crucial role in the Property Theory while being virtually unexplained. I then offer different possibilities of illuminating that concept and argue that the most common ones are either circular, question-begging, or epistemically problematic. Finally, I argue that only a primitive understanding of self-ascription is viable. Self-ascription is the relation that subjects stand in with respect to the properties that they believe themselves to have. As such, self-ascription has to be primitive if it is supposed to do justice to the characteristic features of de se beliefs.

Keywords: De se; self-ascription; property theory; essential indexical; lived body

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About the article

Received: 2017-07-04

Accepted: 2017-08-06

Published Online: 2018-03-06

Published in Print: 2017-11-27


Citation Information: Disputatio, Volume 9, Issue 46, Pages 401–422, ISSN (Online) 0873-626X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0012.

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© 2018. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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