Mental content

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (4):537-553 (1992)
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Abstract

Daniel Dennett and Stephen Stich have independently, but similarly, argued that the contents of mental states cannot be specified precisely enough for the purposes of scientific prediction and explanation. Dennett takes this to support his view that the proper role for mentalistic terms in science is heuristic. Stich takes it to support his view that cognitive science should be done without reference to mental content at all. I defend a realist understanding of mental content against these attacks by Dennett and Stich. I argue that they both mistake the difficulty of making content ascriptions precise for the impossibility of doing so

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Colin Allen
University of Pittsburgh

Citations of this work

Belief.Eric Schwitzgebel - 2006 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Why we can’t say what animals think.Jacob Beck - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):520–546.
Animal consciousness.Colin Allen & Michael Trestman - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Do Animals Engage in Conceptual Thought?Jacob Beck - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (3):218-229.

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References found in this work

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Content and consciousness.Daniel Clement Dennett - 1969 - Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Special sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.

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