This article investigates when one can (rationally) have attitudes, and when one cannot. It argues that a comprehensive theory must explain three phenomena. First, being related by descriptions or names to a proposition one has strong reason to believe is true does not guarantee that one can rationally believe that proposition. Second, such descriptions, and so on, do enable individuals to rationally have various non-doxastic attitudes, such as hope and admiration. And third, even for non-doxastic attitudes like that, not just any description will allow it. The article argues that one should think of attitude formation like one does (practical) choices among options. The article motivates this view linguistically, extending “relevant alternatives” theories of the attitudes to both belief and to the other, non-doxastic attitudes. Given a natural principle governing choice, and some important differences between doxastic and non-doxastic “choices,” one can explain these puzzling phenomena.
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Daniel Drucker; The Attitudes We Can Have. The Philosophical Review 1 October 2020; 129 (4): 591–642. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-8540931
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