Causal theories of mental content

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2010)
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Abstract

Causal theories of mental content attempt to explain how thoughts can be about things. They attempt to explain how one can think about, for example, dogs. These theories begin with the idea that there are mental representations and that thoughts are meaningful in virtue of a causal connection between a mental representation and some part of the world that is represented. In other words, the point of departure for these theories is that thoughts of dogs are about dogs because dogs cause the mental representations of dogs.

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Author Profiles

Ken Aizawa
Rutgers University - Newark
Fred Adams
University of Delaware

Citations of this work

Propositional Content in Signalling Systems.Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):493-512.
Neural Representations Observed.Eric Thomson & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):191-235.
Solving the problem of creeping minimalism.Matthew Simpson - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):510-531.

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