Events

[This talk will be during Valentine's seminar, and will proceed in the manner of a seminar. But all are welcome.]

Supposition is a unique kind of attitude: its conscious, self-guided nature often means the experiencer is aware of what would ordinarily be an instance of a non-de se ascription: in imagining how one appears to others, one manages a form of self-identification with the object of visualization. In this discussion, I will examine several claims about the structure of suppositional attitudes which have been argued to show a variety of subjective dimensions: experiential (Vendler 1982), epistemic (Stephenson 2007, 2011), thematic (Higginbotham 2003), implicit and explicit (Recanati 2007). It will be argued that while these forms of self-identification may be distinct at the level of the cognitive attitude, there is little evidence to support their grammatical activity, and thus that the content of linguistic attitudes is so fine-grained. Instead, a flexible system of contextual support for the suppositional project (Williams 1973) will be advanced, and I will contend that this is responsible for the seeming "readings" that have been argued to occur.