Department of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

Friederike Moltmann (Universite Paris 1)

Fri, November 4, 2011 | WAG 316

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Attitudinal Object and the Distinction between Actions and Products

Propositions as abstract truth-bearing entities raise a number of conceptual and empirical linguistic problems. A solution to the conceptual problems pursued by some contemorary philosophers (Soames, Hanks) consists in a return to an act-based conception of propositional content, by viewing predication as an intentional act. One difficulty for act-based conceptions, however, is that acts, states, or events intuitively do not have truth conditions. In this talk, I will pursue a distinction that the Polish philosopher Twardowski made in 1912 between 'actions' and 'products' and propose a novel ontological account of that distinction. While 'actions' like a thinking, a believing, or an act of claiming do not have truth conditions (or more generally satisfaction conditions), their (nonphysical, non-enduring) 'products' do, namely a 'thought', a 'belief', and a 'claim'. I argue that the ontology of 'products' of mental acts or states can best be understood in terms of the notion of a trope.

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