Monthly Archives: November 2017

intentional states of nonlinguistic creatures

“The contents of the intentional states attributed to nonlinguistic creatures can be understood only in a way that involves the activities of the language users who attribute them, and not entirely in terms of the activities of those who exhibit them. By contrast, the contents of the intentional states attributed to a community of language users can be understood as conferred on their states, attitudes, and performances entirely by the practices of those community members.” (Robert B. Brandom, Making it Explicit, p.152)


“Here again we encounter the essential tension of a politics of pity caught between the demand for generality and the need to present particular misfortunes in order to produce an effect of pity. This is the argument that Kant employs in his Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals when he casts suspicion on impulsive, transient, and capricious emotions and compares them to the principles of a morality of duty, with a doggedness which is no doubt addressed less, as Robert Solomon remarks, to the philosophers of moral sentiments, than to their vulgarisation in sentimental literature and, in particular, in the feminine novel.” (Luc Boltanski, Distant Suffering, pp.100-101)