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Temporal Reference Inside and Outside Propositional Attitudes

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Chapter Summary

This paper has focuses on the analysis of fairly simple discourse, consisting of two attitude attributions to a single subject. (i) its attributions are not attributions of attitudes as such, but of attitudinal changes; and (ii) these changes asserted at different times. Because the attitude change attributed by the second sentence occurs some time after the change described by the first sentence, a complication arises for the use that made of the first sentence as context for the interpretation of the second. The main conclusion of this paper is that plausible as this idea may seem initially, it is almost certainly not correct for discourses. Rather, in successions of attitude attributions the clauses which describe the contents of the attributed attitudes form a kind of subtext, whose dynamic interpretation is subject to the same rules that govern dynamic interpretation of discourse in which no attitude attributions are involved.

Keywords:attitude; discourse; interpretation; propositional attitudes; sentence



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