Individualism and the nature of syntactic states

It is widely assumed that the explanatory states of scientific psychology are type-individuated by their semantic or intentional properties. First, I argue that this assumption is implausible for theories like David Marr's [1982] that seek to provide computational or syntactic explanations of psychological processes. Second, I examine the implications of this conclusion for the debate over psychological individualism. While most philosophers suppose that syntactic states supervene on the intrinsic physical states of information-processing systems, I contend they may not. Syntatic descriptions must be adequately constrained, and the most plausible such constraints appeal to a system's teleological function or design and hence to its history. As a result, physical twins may not realize the same syntactic states
Keywords Individualism  Psychology  Science  Syntactics  Teleology  Burge, T
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/49.4.557
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Gualtiero Piccinini (2008). Computers. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

36 ( #91,119 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.