About this topic
Summary

Intentionality is an important part of the classic mind-body problem, and naturalists need to give an account of it.  This should include an explanation for how mental states can have contents, both propositional and non-propositional.  Many types of reductive explanations have been proposed, but none widely accepted.  The two most popular are 1) accounts somehow based on causal connections or information-carrying regularities between mental representations and their referents or truth conditions, and 2) functionalist type "conceptual role" or "causal role" accounts based on causal connections among mental states and/or mental representations, possibly extending into the world as well.  Two less popular approaches are 3) success semantics (according to which truth conditions are determined by success in some sense) and 4) resemblance theories (whereby representations denote by means of resemblance of some sort, e.g. isomorphism).  Teleology, usually in the form of evolutionary function, may be brought in to solve problems that arise for any of the above, particularly in order to solve "disjunction problems" like allowing for the possibility of error and misrepresentation.  The "phenomenal intentionality" strategy is a new kid on the block, and there are non-reductive approaches as well, including non-reductive versions of the foregoing, as well as interpretivism (content is determined by constrained possibilities for interpretation) and deflationism (claims about mental state content are largely trivial and uninformative).

Key works

Many of these ideas can be traced back to Stampe 1977.  The most influential causal/informational approaches are Dretske 1981 (with teleology added in his 1986) and Fodor's asymmetric dependance variant Fodor 1987.  Classic sources for conceptual or causal role semantics include Block 1986 and Harman 1987Millikan 1984 presents the most influential teleological theory; her account blends teleology, resemblance (isomorphism), and success semantics.  For interpretivism, see Dennett 1971 and Davidson 1973, and for phenomenal intentionality see Horgan & Tienson 2002.

Introductions

The Stich & Warfield 1994 introductory collection has not yet been superseded, and Cummins 1989 is an older but still excellent book-length introduction to the subject. Two recent general reviews are Rupert 2008 and Ryder 2009.  For introductions to specific approaches, see the following: Information-based: Cohen 2002; Causal (not including information-based): Adams & Aizawa 2010; Conceptual/causal role semantics: Block 1998; Teleological: Schulte & Neander 2022;  Interpretivism: Byrne 1998.

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  1. Unreal Beliefs: An Anti-Realist Approach in the Metaphysics of Mind.Poslajko Krzysztof - forthcoming - London: Bloomsbury Publishing.
    The main idea behind this book is that beliefs are, in an interesting philosophical sense, unreal. There are three main aims of the book. The first is to provide a novel characterization of the debate about the reality of beliefs that focuses not on the question of whether beliefs exist, but rather on the question of whether they can be treated as natural properties. The second aim is to propose and justify a novel version of anti-realism, called “minimal non-realism”. It (...)
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  2. Replies to Hatzimoysis, Hufendiek and Sievers, Majeed, Gerrans, and Whiting.Tom Cochrane - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 5 (2):52-61.
    The concerns of each commentary are addressed in turn. I clarify and defend the claims of The Emotional Mind with regards to the plausibility of automatic responses to representational content, the distinction between emotions and bodily feelings, the influence of social contexts upon emotional responses, the complex issue of whether emotions are modular or form natural kinds, the nature of pain asymbolia, and the nature of emotional authenticity.
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  3. A plea for epistemic ontologies.Gilles Kassel - 2023 - Applied ontology 18 (4):367-397.
    In this article, we advocate the use of “epistemic” ontologies, i.e., systems of categories representing our knowledge of the world, rather than the world directly. We first expose a metaphysical framework based on a dual mental and physical realism, which underpins the development of these epistemic ontologies. To this end, we refer to the theories of intentionality and representation established within the school of Franz Brentano at the turn of the 20th century and choose to rehabilitate the notion of a (...)
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  4. The selective advantage of representing correctly.Bence Nanay - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (3):706-717.
    Here is a widespread but controversial idea: those animals who represent correctly are likely to be selected over those who misrepresent. While various versions of this claim have been traditionally endorsed by the vast majority of philosophers of mind, recently, it has been argued that this is just plainly wrong. My aim in this paper is to argue for an intermediate position: that the correctness of some but not all representations is indeed selectively advantageous. It is selectively advantageous to have (...)
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  5. Mental content.Peter Schulte - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    This Element provides a comprehensive introduction to contemporary theories of mental content. After clarifying central concepts and identifying the questions that dominate the current debate, it presents and discusses the principal accounts of the nature of mental content (or mental representation), which include causal, informational, teleological and structuralist approaches, alongside the phenomenal intentionality approach and the intentional stance theory. Additionally, it examines anti-representationalist accounts which question either the existence or the explanatory relevance of mental content. Finally, the Element concludes by (...)
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  6. Revisiting the Intentionality All-Stars.Walter Veit - 2022 - Review of Analytic Philosophy 2 (1):31-54.
    Eliminativism is a position most readily associated with the eliminative materialism of the Churchlands, denying that there are such things as propositional states. This position has created much controversy, despite the fact that intentionality has long been seen as perhaps the core problem for naturalistic philosophy. There is a more radical interpretation of eliminativism, however, denying not only mental states, such as beliefs and desires, but also intentionality (i.e., aboutness) on a global level. This position traces its contemporary origin back (...)
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  7. Representationalism, Scepticism and Phenomenal Realism.Manas Kumar Sahu - 2022 - Prometeica - Revista De Filosofía Y Ciencias 25:51-65.
    The irreducibility thesis of phenomenal consciousness can only succeed against the sceptical attack and avoid solipsism iff it can coherently establish the transition from subjective certainty to the objectivity of knowledge. The sceptical attack on the relationship between the phenomenal qualitative character of experience about the subjects own mental fact and the awareness of the qualitative properties of the phenomenal object can be avoided through establishing the immediacy of experience. The phenomenal realist become successful in establishing the subjective certainty about (...)
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  8. Troubles with mathematical contents.Marco Facchin - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    To account for the explanatory role representations play in cognitive science, Egan’s deflationary account introduces a distinction between cognitive and mathematical contents. According to that account, only the latter are genuine explanatory posits of cognitive-scientific theories, as they represent the arguments and values cognitive devices need to represent to compute. Here, I argue that the deflationary account suffers from two important problems, whose roots trace back to the introduction of mathematical contents. First, I will argue that mathematical contents do not (...)
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  9. Sensing Qualia.Paul Skokowski - 2022 - Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 16:1-16.
    Accounting for qualia in the natural world is a difficult business, and it is worth understanding why. A close examination of several theories of mind—Behaviorism, Identity Theory, Functionalism, and Integrated Information Theory—will be discussed, revealing shortcomings for these theories in explaining the contents of conscious experience: qualia. It will be argued that in order to overcome the main difficulty of these theories the senses should be interpreted as physical detectors. A new theory, Grounded Functionalism, will be proposed, which retains multiple (...)
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  10. On Concepts and Ideas: Themes from G. W. Leibniz's New Essays.Lucia Oliveri - 2016 - In Christoph Kann David Hommen (ed.), Concepts and Categorization Systematic and Historical Perspectives. Münster, Germania: pp. 141-167.
    The topic of my paper is the virtual controversy between Leibniz and Lockeover concepts and ideas. At the end of the 17th century John Locke made a crucial contribution to semantics and philosophy: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. The work represents a decisive turning point for the discussion about ideas and innatism. Indeed, Locke’s aim was to dismantle the Cartesian theory according to which ideas are innate in our soul. Against this onto-epistemological thesis, Locke maintains that all our knowledge starts (...)
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  11. Numbers, numerosities, and new directions.Jacob Beck & Sam Clarke - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:1-20.
    In our target article, we argued that the number sense represents natural and rational numbers. Here, we respond to the 26 commentaries we received, highlighting new directions for empirical and theoretical research. We discuss two background assumptions, arguments against the number sense, whether the approximate number system represents numbers or numerosities, and why the ANS represents rational numbers.
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  12. The Sense of Effort: a Cost-Benefit Theory of the Phenomenology of Mental Effort.Marcell Székely & John Michael - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):889-904.
    In the current paper, we articulate a theory to explain the phenomenology of mental effort. The theory provides a working definition of mental effort, explains in what sense mental effort is a limited resource, and specifies the factors that determine whether or not mental effort is experienced as aversive. The core of our theory is the conjecture that the sense of effort is the output of a cost-benefit analysis. This cost-benefit analysis employs heuristics to weigh the current and anticipated costs (...)
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  13. The constancy mechanism proposal for the limits of intentionality.Sérgio Farias de Souza Filho - 2017 - Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society 25:38-40.
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  14. Ruth Garrett Millikan: O cómo la biosemántica revolucionó la filosofía de la mente.Erika Torres - 2022 - In Aurora Georgina Bustos Arellano & Jocelyn Martínez (eds.), Las filósofas que nos formaron. Injusticias, retos y propuestas en la filosofía. Nuevo Leon, Mexico: Centro de Estudios Humanísticos, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. pp. 24-40.
    In this chapter I will present, in a general way, Millikan's biosemantic theory of the phenomenon of intentionality. For this purpose, the text will take the following path. First, I will present the problem of intentionality and an overview of the dominant theories of intentional content during the twentieth century and part of the twenty-first century. Then, I will present a general version of Millikan's biosemantic theory, appearing in 1984, which will allow us to see what the relevance and originality (...)
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  15. Reflections on Mirror Man.Frank Jackson & Daniel Stoljar - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (12):4227-4237.
    Juhani Yli-Vakkuri and John Hawthorne have recently presented a thought experiment—Mirror Man—designed to refute internalist theories of belief and content. We distinguish five ways in which the case can be interpreted and argue that on none does it refute internalism.
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  16. The Possibility of Epistemic Nudging.Thomas Grundmann - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (2):208-218.
    Typically, nudging is a technique for steering the choices of people without giving reasons or using enforcement. In benevolent cases, it is used when people are insufficiently responsive to reason. The nudger triggers automatic cognitive mechanisms – sometimes even biases – in smart ways in order to push irrational people in the right direction. Interestingly, this technique can also be applied to doxastic attitudes. Someone who is doxastically unresponsive to evidence can be nudged into forming true beliefs or doxastic attitudes (...)
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  17. Constructing a Naturalistic Theory of Intentionality.J. H. van Hateren - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (1):473-493.
    A naturalistic theory of intentionality is proposed that differs from previous evolutionary and tracking theories. Full-blown intentionality is constructed through a series of evolvable refinements. A first, minimal version of intentionality originates from a conjectured internal process that estimates an organism’s own fitness and that continually modifies the organism. This process produces the directedness of intentionality. The internal estimator can be parsed into intentional components that point to components of the process that produces fitness. It is argued that such intentional (...)
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  18. Unfollowed Rules and the Normativity of Content.Eric V. Tracy - 2020 - Analytic Philosophy 61 (4):323-344.
    Foundational theories of mental content seek to identify the conditions under which a mental representation expresses, in the mind of a particular thinker, a particular content. Normativists endorse the following general sort of foundational theory of mental content: A mental representation r expresses concept C for agent S just in case S ought to use r in conformity with some particular pattern of use associated with C. In response to Normativist theories of content, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin and Åsa Wikforss propose a (...)
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  19. Turning Aboutness About.Alexander Sandgren - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (1):136-155.
    There are two families of influential and stubborn puzzles that many theories of aboutness (intentionality) face: underdetermination puzzles and puzzles concerning representations that appear to be about things that do not exist. I propose an approach that elegantly avoids both kinds of puzzle. The central idea is to explain aboutness (the relation supposed to stand between thoughts and terms and their objects) in terms of relations of co-aboutness (the relation of being about the same thing that stands between the thoughts (...)
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  20. Models, information and meaning.Marc Artiga - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 82:101284.
    There has recently been an explosion of formal models of signalling, which have been developed to learn about different aspects of meaning. This paper discusses whether that success can also be used to provide an original naturalistic theory of meaning in terms of information or some related notion. In particular, it argues that, although these models can teach us a lot about different aspects of content, at the moment they fail to support the idea that meaning just is some kind (...)
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  21. Defending Discontinuism, Naturally.Sarah Robins - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):469-486.
    The more interest philosophers take in memory, the less agreement there is that memory exists—or more precisely, that remembering is a distinct psychological kind or mental state. Concerns about memory’s distinctiveness are triggered by observations of its similarity to imagination. The ensuing debate is cast as one between discontinuism and continuism. The landscape of debate is set such that any extensive engagement with empirical research into episodic memory places one on the side of continuism. Discontinuists concerns are portrayed as almost (...)
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  22. Killing Kripkenstein's Monster.Jared Warren - 2020 - Noûs 54 (2):257-289.
    Here I defend dispositionalism about meaning and rule-following from Kripkenstein's infamous anti-dispositionalist arguments. The problems of finitude, error, and normativity are all addressed. The general lesson I draw is that Kripkenstein's arguments trade on an overly simplistic version of dispositionalism.
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  23. Capacities First.Susanna Schellenberg - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):744-757.
  24. A metarepresentational theory of intentional identity.Alexander Sandgren - 2019 - Synthese 196 (9):3677-3695.
    Geach points out that some pairs of beliefs have a common focus despite there being, apparently, no object at that focus. For example, two or more beliefs can be directed at Vulcan even though there is no such planet. Geach introduced the label ‘intentional identity’ to pick out the relation that holds between attitudes in these cases; Geach says that ’[w]e have intentional identity when a number of people, or one person on different occasions, have attitudes with a common focus, (...)
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  25. Acts of desire.Henry Ian Schiller - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (9):955-972.
    ABSTRACT Act-based theories of content hold that propositions are identical to acts of predication that we perform in thought and talk. To undergo an occurrent thought with a particular content is just to perform the act of predication that individuates that content. But identifying the content of a thought with the performance of an act of predication makes it difficult to explain the intentionality of bouletic mental activity, like wanting and desiring. In this paper, I argue that this difficulty is (...)
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  26. Explaining representation: a reply to Matthen.Frances Egan - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (1):137-142.
    Mohan Matthen has failed to understand the position I develop and defend in “How to Think about Mental Content.” No doubt some of the fault lies with my exposition, though Matthen often misconstrues passages that are clear in context. He construes clarifications and elaborations of my argument to be “concessions.” Rather than dwell too much on specific misunderstandings of my explanatory project and its attendant claims, I will focus on the main points of disagreement.RepresentationalismMy project in the paper is to (...)
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  27. How to think about mental content.Frances Egan - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (1):115-135.
    Introduction: representationalismMost theorists of cognition endorse some version of representationalism, which I will understand as the view that the human mind is an information-using system, and that human cognitive capacities are representational capacities. Of course, notions such as ‘representation’ and ‘information-using’ are terms of art that require explication. As a first pass, representations are “mediating states of an intelligent system that carry information” (Markman and Dietrich 2001, p. 471). They have two important features: (1) they are physically realized, and so (...)
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  28. Intentionality, Politics, and Religion.Mohammed Azadpur - 2015 - Religious Inquiries 4 (8):17-22.
    The idea that intentionality is the distinctive mark of the mental or that only mental phenomena have intentionality emerged in the philosophical tradition after Franz Brentano. Much of contemporary philosophy is dedicated to a rejection of the view that mental phenomena have original intentionality. In other words, main strands of contemporary philosophy seek to naturalize intentionality of the mental by tracing it to linguistic intentionality. So in order to avoid the problematic claim that a physical phenomenon can in virtue of (...)
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  29. Phenomenal Consciousness from the Prospect of Representational Theory of Mind.Seyed Mohammad Hosseini & Kambiz Badee - 2013 - Falsafe 41 (1):85-104.
    One of the most important questions in epistemology is the nonphysical realities, like phenomenal consciousness. The main claim of physicalism is real explanations of events and properties are only physical explanations and representationalists are agree too. Thus these realities can explained by the rule of biases of physical and objective events.On the other hand , phenomenalists maintain that conscious experiences and aspect of subjectivity of phenomenal consciousness are not. In this article I attempt formulated the problem of phenomenal consciousness based (...)
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  30. Mental causation and neuroscience: The semantic pruning model.José Manuel Muñoz - 2018 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 33 (3):379-399.
    In this paper I propose a hypothetical model of mental causation that I call semantic pruning and which could be defined as the causal influence of contents and meanings on the spatial configuration of the network of synapses of an individual. I will be guided by two central principles: 1) the causal influence of the mental occurs by virtue of external semantic constraints and consists in the selective activation of certain physical powers, 2) when the selective activation is continual, it (...)
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  31. O Livre-Arbítrio em John R. Searle: Uma Contraposição do Naturalismo Biológico ao Fisicalismo e ao Funcionalismo.Daniel P. Nunes - 2014 - Dissertation, Universidade de Caxias Do Sul
    This dissertation aims to examine whether John Searle’s biological naturalism is a more viable alternative to current physicalist and functionalist positions in dealing with the issue of free will. Thus, my strategy is to identify the assumptions of these lines of thought and their philosophical consequences. In order to accomplish this goal the concept of intrinsic intentionality is taken as a guide. I begin by defining what is meant by free will and go on to broadly characterize physicalist and functionalist (...)
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  32. The Code Model of Biosemiotics and the Fate of the Structuralist Theory of Mental Representation.Majid Davoody Beni - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (1):99-107.
    In this paper I am advocating a structuralist theory of mental representation. For a structuralist theory of mental representation to be defended satisfactorily, the naturalistic and causal constraints have to be satisfied first. The more intractable of the two, i.e., the naturalistic constraint, indicates that to account for the mental representation, we should not invoke “a full-blown interpreting mind”. So, the aim of the paper is to show how the naturalistic and causal constraints could be satisfied. It aims to offer (...)
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  33. Narrow Structuralism: Paving a Middle Path Between Cummins and Millikan.Matthew J. Nestor - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (1):109-123.
    Millikan [2000] has levelled a number of persuasive criticisms against Cummins's [1996] theory of mental representation. In this paper, I pave a middle path in the debate between Cummins [2000] and Millikan [2000] to answer two questions. How are representations applied to targets? How is the content of a representation determined? The result is a new theory of mental representation, which I call narrow structuralism.
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  34. The Causal Inefficacy of Content.Gabriel M. A. Segal - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (1):80-102.
    The paper begins with the assumption that psychological event tokens are identical to or constituted from physical events. It then articulates a familiar apparent problem concerning the causal role of psychological properties. If they do not reduce to physical properties, then either they must be epiphenomenal or any effects they cause must also be caused by physical properties, and hence be overdetermined. It then argues that both epiphenomenalism and over‐determinationism are prima facie perfectly reasonable and relatively unproblematic views. The paper (...)
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  35. Cow‐sharks, Magnets, and Swampman.Daniel Dennett - 1996 - Mind and Language 11 (1):76-77.
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  36. Mental Representation and Mental Presentation: Reflections on some definitions in The Oxford Concise Dictionary.Gregory McCulloch - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 51:19-36.
    To the memory of Alan WhiteThe idea of mental representation occupies a rather prominent place in much contemporary discussion, both in philosophy and cognitive science, and not as a particularly controversial idea either. My reflections here, however, are intended to douse much of that discussion with some cold water. I should emphasize at the outset that I have no problems at all with the very idea of mental representation. What I find quite unsatisfactory is the philosophical or doctrinal underpinning of (...)
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  37. How Self-Knowledge Can't be Naturalized (Some Remarks on a Proposal by Dretske).Andreas Kemmerling - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (3):311-328.
    In his book Naturalizing the Mind, Fred Dretske, among other things, gives what he thinks is a naturalist account of what he calls introspective knowledge.1 I shall not quarrel with his labels; I shall quarrel with what he tries to sell by using them. For him, introspective knowledge is “the mind’s direct knowledge of itself”,2 and he concentrates on knowledge of one’s own current mental occurrences, especially those which belong to the realm of sensory perception. An example he discusses is (...)
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  38. A Theory of Content and Other Essays. [REVIEW]Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):898-901.
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  39. Making it Implicit: Brandom on Rule Following.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):419-431.
    In Making it Explicit, Brandom aims to articulate an account of conceptual content that accommodates its normativity—a requirement on theories of content that Brandom traces to Wittgenstein's rule following considerations. It is widely held that the normativity requirement cannot be met, or at least not with ease, because theories of content face an intractable dilemma. Brandom proposes to evade the dilemma by adopting a middle road—one that uses normative vocabulary, but treats norms as implicit in practices. I argue that this (...)
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  40. Reaffirmation of Intentionality: A Rejoinder to Monsignor Doyle.Henry Veatch - 1954 - New Scholasticism 28 (3):253-271.
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  41. A Metasemantic Challenge for Mathematical Determinacy.Jared Warren & Daniel Waxman - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):477-495.
    This paper investigates the determinacy of mathematics. We begin by clarifying how we are understanding the notion of determinacy before turning to the questions of whether and how famous independence results bear on issues of determinacy in mathematics. From there, we pose a metasemantic challenge for those who believe that mathematical language is determinate, motivate two important constraints on attempts to meet our challenge, and then use these constraints to develop an argument against determinacy and discuss a particularly popular approach (...)
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  42. Mental Contents, Tracking Counterfactuals, and Implementing Mechanisms.Josep E. Corbí & Josep L. Prades - 2000 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9:1-11.
    In the ongoing debate, there are a set of mind-body theories sharing a certain physicalist assumption: whenever a genuine cause produces an effect, the causal efficacy of each of the nonphysical properties that participate in that process is determined by the instantiation of a well-defined set of physical properties. These theories would then insist that a nonphysical property could only be causally efficacious insofar as it is physically implemented. However, in what follows we will argue against the idea that fine-grained (...)
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  43. Plant Minds: A Philosophical Defense.Chauncey Maher - 2017 - Routledge.
    The idea that plants have minds can sound improbable, but some widely respected contemporary scientists and philosophers find it plausible. It turns out to be rather tricky to vindicate the presumption that plants do not have minds, for doing so requires getting clear about what plants can do and what exactly a mind is. By connecting the most compelling empirical work on plant behavior with philosophical reflection on the concept of minds, _Plant Minds _aims to help non-experts begin to think (...)
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  44. Explaining Behavior: Reasons in a World of Causes. [REVIEW]Brian P. McLaughlin - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):641-645.
  45. Should Intentionality be Naturalized?Thomas Bontly - 2001 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 49:43-60.
    One goal of recent philosophy of mind has been to ‘naturalize’ intentionality by showing how a purely physical system could have states that represent or are about items (objects, properties, facts) in the world. The project is reductionist in spirit, the aim being to explain intentional relations—to say what they really are—and to do so in terms that do not themselves utilize intentional or semantic concepts. In this vein there are attempts to explain intentional relations in terms of causal relations, (...)
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  46. NORMATIVITY AND JUDGEMENT I–David Papineau.David Papineau - 1999 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 73 (1):17-43.
  47. Fodor and the Inscrutability Problem.Greg Ray - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (3-4):475-489.
    In his 1993 Nicod Lectures, Jerry Fodor proposed a solution to a certain version of the problem of‘inscrutability of reference’, which problem poses a challenge to a certain naturalistic, computational approach to cognition which Fodor has favoured. The problem is that purely informational accounts of an agent's mental contents cannot discriminate meanings finely enough. Fodor proposes a strategy of solution which appeals to the inferential dispositions of agents to discriminate contents more finely. After a brief exposition of the problem and (...)
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  48. A Dilemma or a Challenge? Assessing the All-star Team in a Wider Context.Nikolai Alksnis - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):669-685.
    In their update to Intentionality All-Stars, Hutto and Satne claim that there is currently no satisfactory account for a naturalised conception of content. From this the pair suggest that we need to consider whether content is present in all aspects of intelligence, that is, whether it is content all the way down. Yet if we do not have an acceptable theory of content such a question seems out of place. It seems more appropriate to question whether content itself is the (...)
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  49. The Primacy of Skilled Intentionality: on Hutto & Satne’s the Natural Origins of Content.Julian Kiverstein & Erik Rietveld - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):701-721.
    Following a brief reconstruction of Hutto & Satne’s paper we focus our critical comments on two issues. First we take up H&S’s claim that a non-representational form of ur-intentionality exists that performs essential work in setting the scene for content-involving forms of intentionality. We will take issue with the characterisation that H&S give of this non-representational form of intentionality. Part of our commentary will therefore be aimed at motivating an alternative account of how there can be intentionality without mental content, (...)
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  50. The Natural Origins of Content.Daniel D. Hutto & Glenda Satne - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):521-536.
    We review the current state of play in the game of naturalizing content and analyse reasons why each of the main proposals, when taken in isolation, is unsatisfactory. Our diagnosis is that if there is to be progress two fundamental changes are necessary. First, the point of the game needs to be reconceived in terms of explaining the natural origins of content. Second, the pivotal assumption that intentionality is always and everywhere contentful must be abandoned. Reviving and updating Haugeland’s baseball (...)
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