Thinking alone and thinking together

Robert Pasternak


The central observation of this paper is that belief ascriptions with plural subjects can be interpreted non-distributively, so that beliefs can be truthfully attributed to a plurality that cannot be attributed to any of the individuals that it comprises. Moreover, the beliefs of a plurality appear to be predictable from the beliefs of its associated individuals. Two potential analyses are offered for the relationship between the beliefs of individuals and those of pluralities. Both of these analyses, which are meant to negotiate the agreements and disagreements between individual experiencers, run into issues differentiating between relevant and irrelevant disagreement. To resolve these issues I invoke a notion of "aboutness", which filters out contextually irrelevant beliefs.

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