Attitude and action: against de se exceptionalism

Lixiao Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Downloads (Pure)


De se exceptionalism is the view that de se attitudes pose a distinctive problem for traditional theories of propositional attitudes. A recent argument for de se exceptionalism attempts to prove that the distinctive problem of de se attitudes has something to do with the role of de se attitudes in explaining actions. The argument is based on a case where two subjects seem to believe and desire all the same propositions but perform different actions. This is the most promising argument for de se exceptionalism in the current literature. This paper rejects the argument by proposing a novel model of action explanation, according to which agents perform what they consider to be the best actions. I will argue that the case, based on which the recent argument for de se exceptionalism is developed, is philosophically interesting. Traditional theories of propositional attitudes can accommodate the case easily. I will conclude that de se exceptionalism should be rejected.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalInquiry - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date28 Dec 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2022


  • Action explanation
  • First person
  • Propositional attitude


Dive into the research topics of 'Attitude and action: against de se exceptionalism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this