Direct belief: An essay on the semantics, pragmatics, and metaphysics of belief

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Jonathan Berg argues for the Theory of Direct Belief, which treats having a belief about an individual as an unmediated relation between the believer and the individual the belief is about. After a critical review of alternative positions, Berg uses Grice's theory of conversational implicature to provide a detailed pragmatic account of substitution failure in belief ascriptions and goes on to defend this view against objections, including those based on an unwarranted "Inner Speech" Picture of Thought. The work serves as a case study in pragmatic explanation, dealing also with methodological issues about context-sensitivity in language and the relation between semantics and pragmatics.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
Number of pages157
ISBN (Electronic)9781614510826
ISBN (Print)9781614510901
StatePublished - 26 Apr 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston. All rights reserved.


  • Gricean Maxims
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Semantics and Pragmatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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