Ideas from 'Attitudes De Dicto and De Se' by David Lewis [1979], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Philosophical Papers Vol.1' by Lewis,David [OUP 1983,0-19-503204-7]].

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10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 1. Possible Worlds / d. Possible worlds actualism
The actual world is just the world you are in
                        Full Idea: Lewis equates knowing which world is actual with knowing which world one is in.
                        From: report of David Lewis (Attitudes De Dicto and De Se [1979]) by Cappelen,H/Dever,J - The Inessential Indexical 05.1
                        A reaction: [This view is not, of course, Actualism, but an alternative treatment of actuality, within a multitude of possibilities].
11. Knowledge Aims / A. Knowledge / 4. Belief / a. Beliefs
A content is a property, and believing it is self-ascribing that property
                        Full Idea: For Lewis, a belief mode is analysed by saying that to believe a content (analysed as a property) is for the subject of thought to 'self-ascribe' that property.
                        From: report of David Lewis (Attitudes De Dicto and De Se [1979]) by François Recanati - Mental Files 18.3
                        A reaction: Lewis is weird. I would have thought you only self-ascribe the 'property' when you find yourself believing it. Lewis seems desperate to eliminate mental language. Belief can be a primitive concept without being primitive in ontology.
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 2. Propositional Attitudes
Attitudes involve properties (not propositions), and belief is self-ascribing the properties
                        Full Idea: Lewis suggests that we take attitudes to have properties, rather than propositions, as contents. To stand in the belief relation to a property is to self-ascribe that property.
                        From: report of David Lewis (Attitudes De Dicto and De Se [1979]) by Robert C. Solomon - Erotic Love as a Moral Virtue 05.1
                        A reaction: This is the sort of convoluted suggestion that Lewis has to come up with, in pursuit of his project of a wholly consistent metaphysics. Examine Lewis's account of properties before you judge this proposal! Self-ascribing is joining a set!
18. Thought / A. Modes of Thought / 9. Indexical Thought
Lewis's popular centred worlds approach gives an attitude an index of world, subject and time
                        Full Idea: Many philosophers now prefer Lewis's centred worlds framework for indexicals …It is two-dimensional, saying an attitude only has a truth-value when evaluated with respect to a contextual index, containing a subject and time, as well as a world.
                        From: report of David Lewis (Attitudes De Dicto and De Se [1979]) by François Recanati - Mental Files 18.2
                        A reaction: [compressed; this is said to have largely ousted the older Kaplan-Perry view] You only begin to understand the possible worlds game when you see how many problems find proposed 'solutions' there.
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 4. Meaning as Truth-Conditions
A theory of perspectival de se content gives truth conditions relative to an agent
                        Full Idea: Lewis's theory of a perspectival 'de se' content ...delivers truth conditions not absolutely, but only relative to a choice of agent/center.
                        From: report of David Lewis (Attitudes De Dicto and De Se [1979]) by Cappelen,H/Dever,J - The Inessential Indexical 05.7
                        A reaction: The proposal rests on a theory of 'centred' possible worlds, specifying the viewpoint of some agent within the whole system. It relies on accepting the idea that indexicals are special, which Cappelen and Dever reject.