David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 107 (3):325-347 (1996)
In this paper I apply an old problem of Quine's (the inscrutability of reference in translation) to a new style of theory about mental content (causal/nomological/informational accounts of meaning) and conclude that no "naturalization" of content of the sort currently popular can solve Quine's "gavagai" enigma. I show how failure to solve the problem leads to absurd conclusions not about one's own mental life, but about the non-mental world. I discuss various ways of attempting to remedy the accounts so as to avoid the problem and explain why each attempt at solving the problem would take the information theorists further from their self-assigned task of "naturalizing" semantics
|Keywords||Content Epistemology Information Dretske, F Fodor, J Price|
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References found in this work BETA
W. V. Quine (1960). Word and Object. The MIT Press.
Nelson Goodman (1983). Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard University Press.
Hilary Putnam (1975). Mind, Language, and Reality. Cambridge University Press.
Jerry Fodor (1988). Psychosemantics. Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):384-389.
Citations of this work BETA
Itay Shani (2005). Intension and Representation: Quine's Indeterminacy Thesis Revisited. Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):415 – 440.
Georges Rey (2004). Fodor's Ingratitude and Change of Heart? Mind and Language 19 (1):70-84.
Jerome C. Wakefield (2003). Fodor on Inscrutability. Mind and Language 18 (5):524-537.
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