Does Informational Semantics Commit Euthyphro's Fallacy?

Noûs 40 (3):522-547 (2006)
In this paper, I argue that informational semantics, the most well-known and worked-out naturalistic account of intentional content, conflicts with a fundamental psychological principle about the conditions of belief-formation. Since this principle is an important premise in the argument for informational semantics, the upshot is that the view is self-contradictory??indeed, it turns out to be guilty of a sophisticated version of the fallacy famously committed by Euthyphro in the eponymous Platonic dialogue. Criticisms of naturalistic accounts of content typically proceed piecemeal by narrowly constructed counterexamples, but I argue that the current result is more robust. It affects a broad family of accounts, and provokes a wider doubt about the possibility of successful execution of the naturalistic project.
Keywords informational semantics  mental content  Euthyphro contrast  mental causation  naturalized semantics  causal theories of content
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2006.00622.x
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John McDowell (1994). Mind and World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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