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WHAT DO WE BELIEVE IN?

By Erich Rast

Abstract

In this article, I will outline, how three meaning theoretic paradigms deal with the content of belief, and what difficulties each of them faces: the Fregean approach, the Neo-Russellian or direct reference approach, and the dualist approach as a mixture of both. The Fregean approach stipulates senses that correspond to linguistic expressions and fulfill various roles such as determining the truth-conditions of a sentence or encoding cognitive value. The direct reference approach can be traced back up to John Stuart Mill’s treatment of proper names, and it is also a part of Russell’s theory of knowledge by acquaintance. In this view, the meaning of a simple assertoric statement can be described as a singular proposition, i.e. an ordered n-tuple consisting of the objects denoted by referential expressions and the relation holding between them. 1 The mixed view enriches a singular proposition with some way how particular objects are given to someone. During last century until now, entities that at first only served as a representation of sentence meaning consuetudinarily have been abused to represent the content of what a person believes as well. In this view, belief is a relation between a perso

Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.185.2901
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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