This paper was written with support from the American Council of Learned Societies Charles A. Ryskamp research fellowship, for which I am very grateful.
A Notional Worlds Approach to Confusion
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2007
2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 150–172, April 2007
How to Cite
LAWLOR, K. (2007), A Notional Worlds Approach to Confusion. Mind & Language, 22: 150–172. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00304.x
- Issue published online: 23 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2007
Abstract: People often become confused, mistaking one thing for another, or taking two things to be the same. How should we assign semantic values to confused statements? Recently, philosophers have taken a pessimistic view of confusion, arguing that understanding confused belief demands significant departure from our normal interpretive practice. I argue for optimism. Our semantic treatment of confusion can be a lot like our semantic treatment of empty names. Surprisingly, perhaps, the resulting semantics lets us keep in place more of our everyday interpretive practices in the face of confused belief.