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  • 1.
    Glüer-Pagin, Kathrin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
    Wikforss, Åsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
    Aiming at Truth: On the Role of Belief2013In: Teorema, ISSN 0210-1602, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 137-162Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We explore the possibility of characterizing belief wholly in terms of its first-order functional role, its input (evidence) and output (further beliefs and actions), by addressing some common challenges to the view. One challenge concerns the fact that not all belief is evidence-sensitive. In response to this, normativists and teleo-functionalists have concluded that something over and above functional role is needed, a norm or a telos. We argue that both allow for implausibly much divergence between belief and evidence. Others have suggested that belief should be saved as the evidence-sensitive attitude, by making it share its motivational role with an hitherto unrecognized state: alief. We argue that the appeal to alief faces a dilemma: Either explanation of intentional action by means of alief is a species of intentional explanation, in which case it becomes hard to distinguish alief from (irrational) belief, or alief is sufficiently different from belief, but then neither the explanation nor the explanandum (action) are recognizably intentional any longer. We conclude that the most promising way forward is an account of belief that makes use of the full functional role of belief, including its role in theoretical reasoning.

  • 2.
    Wikforss, Åsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
    Semantic Intuitions and the Theory of Reference2017In: Teorema, ISSN 0210-1602, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 95-116Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Experiments on the semantic intuitions of lay speakers concerning proper names have suggested that there is great variation in these intuitions, across individuals and across cultures. How should the semanticist respond to these results? Machery et. al. (2011) suggest three ways of accommodating the variation in intuitions: Deny that intuitions are reliable guides to reference; adopt referential pluralism and grant that names refer differently; or deny the value of non-expert intuitions. Philosophers of language have tended to endorse either the first option, arguing that the type of intuitions tested by Machery et. al. (2004) do not provide real evidence for the theory of reference, or the third option, arguing that lay speaker intuitions are not sufficiently reliable when it comes to semantics. I argue, instead, that the intuitions tested do have evidential value and that the third option need be taken more seriously: referential pluralism. In particular, I address Marti's criticisms of Machery et. al. and her claim that the intuitions tested lack evidential value since they are meta-linguistic [Marti (2009), (2013)]. I argue that the intuitions tested are not meta-linguistic in a problematic way and that they do provide reasons to accept referential pluralism.

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