Volume 17, 2002
Semantic Theory and Reported Speech
The Things People Say
It appears that the objects of belief and the objects of assertion are, often, one and the same. The objects of assertion must be communicable – if an assertion leads to successful communication, the audience grasps what the speaker said. There are good reasons for thinking that beliefs are relations to very fine-grained contents, however, which appear to be unsuitable for reliable transmission from speaker to audience. I consider two accounts of the apparent intersection of the objects of belief and the objects of assertion, and find them unable to embrace both of these claims. I defend the view that beliefs have multiple, truth-conditionally equivalent contents on the grounds that it is able to reconcile the apparently conflicting claims.