Do Belief Reports Report Beliefs


  • Kent Bach


Abstract: The traditional puzzles about belief reports puzzles rest on a certain seemingly innocuous assumption, that ‘that’-clauses specify belief contents. The main theories of belief reports also rest on this “Specification Assumption”, that for a belief report of the form ‘A believes that p’ to be true,’ the proposition that p must be among the things A believes. I use Kripke’s Paderewski case to call the Specification Assumption into question. Giving up that assumption offers prospects for an intuitively more plausible approach to the semantics of belief reports. But this approach must confront a puzzle of its own: it turns out that every case is a Paderewski case, at least potentially.