An Argument against Causal Theories of Mental Content

American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):117-129 (2009)
Some mental states are about themselves. Nothing is a cause of itself. So some mental states are not about their causes; they are about things distinct from their causes. If this argument is sound, it spells trouble for causal theories of mental content—the precise sort of trouble depending on the precise sort of causal theory. This paper shows that the argument is sound (§§1-3), and then spells out the trouble (§4).
Keywords Mental Content  Causal Theories of Content  Self-representation
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DOI 10.2307/20464444
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