David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In Luciano Floridi (ed.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Information and Computing. Blackwell (2002)
Mental states differ from most other entities in the world in having semantic or intentional properties: they have meanings, they are about other things, they have satisfaction- or truth-conditions, they have representational content. Mental states are not the only entities that have intentional properties - so do linguistic expressions, some paintings, and so on; but many follow Grice, 1957 ] in supposing that we could understand the intentional properties of these other entities as derived from the intentional properties of mental states (viz., the mental states of their producers). Of course, accepting this supposition leaves us with a puzzle about how the non-derivative bearers of intentional properties (mental states) could have these properties. In particular, intentional properties seem to some to be especially difficult to reconcile with a robust commitment to ontological naturalism - the view that the natural properties, events, and individuals are the only properties, events, and individuals that exist. Fodor puts this intuition nicely in this oft-quoted passage:
I suppose that sooner or later the physicists will complete the catalogue they've been compiling of theSome philosophers have reacted to this clash by giving up one of the two views generating the tension. For example, Churchland, 1981 ] opts for intentional irrealism in order to save ontological naturalism, while
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