Ashley Shaw (UCL) - 2014-15 Students

Interrogative Attitudes

The notion of a ‘propositional attitude’ is central to contemporary philosophy. A propositional attitude is a mental state in which a subject is cognitively related to a proposition, the attitude’s ‘content’. For instance, the belief that Oslo is the capital of Norway is some cognitive relation between a subject and the proposition that Oslo is the capital of Norway.
Less widely discussed are interrogative attitudes, attitudes like wonder, curiosity, suspended judgment and so on. For instance, I can suspended judgment or wonder about where in the world Oslo is located, or who will win the next Booker Prize. What are the contents of interrogative attitudes? Propositions? Questions? My research investigates the nature of various interrogative attitudes, their contents, and their relations to the process of inquiry. I draw on research in the philosophy of mind and language, as well as work in linguistics on the semantics of questions.

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