Introduction to Philosophy Can_Animals_Judge.pdf

Be expanded into sentences of the form i want to f an

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be expanded into sentences of the form ‘I want to F an X ’: I want an apple – I want to eat an apple, etc. Furthermore, in reports of what he calls ‘affective attitudes’ the grammatical object of Can Animals Judge? 13 © 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 Editorial Board of dialectica .
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it is sheer dogmatism to insist that admiring Nelson Mandela, intending to climb a tree or craving M&Ms are in the final analysis attitudes towards propositions. Of course, the reasons people have for admiring Mandela or intending to climb a tree can be expressed through that-clauses. But so can the reasons people have for kicking a ball, and no one would conclude that kicking a ball is therefore anything other than a relation to an object. This by itself removes an obstacle to crediting animals with intentional states. For it would be foolhardy to deny that chimpanzees can intend to climb trees or crave M&Ms, unless one is in thrall to the prejudice that such intentional states must au fond be attitudes towards linguistic entities. Having noted this point, let us nevertheless focus on intentional verbs of type (I), since it is here that the obstacle posed by concepts comes out most clearly.Consider a belief ascription like: (1) Carl thinks that the cat went up that oak tree On the one hand, there is the intentional verb (‘believes’), which informs us that Carl believes, rather than, for example, knows or fears that the cat went up the oak tree. On the other hand, there is a noun-clause (‘that the cat went up that oak tree’), which informs us of what it is that Carl believes, the content of his belief, and is therefore known as the content-clause . Switching to the material mode, there is the kind of intentional state on the one hand, the kind of content on the other. These two parameters are in turn connected to an equivocation in nouns like ‘belief’, ‘hope’, ‘desire’, etc. ‘A’s belief’ can refer either to what A believes , namely that the sun is out, or to what A has , namely the belief that the sun is out. What A has, the belief, can be erroneous, sensible or tentative. But what A believes – e.g. that the sun is out – i.e. the content of her belief, cannot (White 1972, 81–83). The two parameters raise two distinct questions. One is which intentional states or acts can be ascribed (what intentional verbs can be applied) to animals; another question is which contents can be ascribed to them (which that-clauses, singular terms or infinitives can follow these intentional verbs). Concerning the first question, one might grant that a dog can know, believe or see that p , yet deny that it can think, judge or hope that p . the attitude takes a different form depending on the verb: either a ‘that’ clause, or an infinitive (I hope that p , I want to F ; I prefer to F , etc.). Nonetheless, he maintains, they could all be expressed using the construction ‘A volits that p ’, since he thinks of these affective attitudes as taking an attitude to a state of affairs. Although this would leave type (III) intentionality
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  • Spring '19
  • Andrew
  • Belief, Proposition, Propositional attitude, editorial board

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