Philosophical Psychology 6 (1):3-22 (1993)

Pat Manfredi
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
If psychology requires a taxonomy that categorizes mental states according to their causal powers, the common sense method of individuating mental states (a taxonomy by intentional content) is unacceptable because mental states can have different intentional content, but identical causal powers. This difference threatens both the vindication of belief/desire psychology and the viability of scientific theories whose posits include intentional states. To resolve this conflict, Fodor has proposed that for scientific purposes mental states should be classified by their narrow content. Such a classification is supposed to correspond to a classification by causal powers. Yet a state's narrow content is also supposed to determine its (broad) intentional content whenever that state is 'anchored' to a context. I examine the two most plausible accounts of narrow content implicit in Fodor's work, arguing that neither account can accomplish both goals
Keywords Belief  Causality  Mental States  Metaphysics  Psychology  Science  Fodor, J
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DOI 10.1080/09515089308573074
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Special Sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
Individualism and Psychology.Tyler Burge - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (January):3-45.

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