Three motivations for narrow content
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In everyday life, we typically explain what people do by attributing mental states such as beliefs and desires. Such mental states belong to a class of mental states that are _intentional_, mental states that have content. Hoping that Johnny will win, and believing that Johnny will win are of course rather different mental states that can lead to very different behaviour. But they are similar in that they both have the same content : what is being hoped for and believed is the very same thing. According to the thesis of externalism that has been defended most notably by Hilary Putnam and Tyler Burge, not all of the contents of our mental states are determined by our intrinsic properties. Instead, the contents of our beliefs and desires are often determined in part by our relations to the environment. They are, so to speak, "wide" contents that are "not in our heads." Although externalism is accepted by most philosophers, many have argued that mental states with wide contents must also have a kind of content wholly determined by the intrinsic properties of the individuals who are in those states. This kind of content is called "narrow content". The aim of this paper is to distinguish between three rather different motivations for postulating narrow content. I argue that, given a certain conception of narrow content that I shall explain below, none of these three motivations succeed in establishing the existence of narrow content.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael Pelczar (2009). Content Internalism About Indexical Thought. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):95 - 104.
Andrew E. Newman (2004). The Good, the Bad, and the Irrational: Three Views of Mental Content. Philosophical Psychology 17 (1):95-106.
Robert Stalnaker (1990). Narrow Content. In C. Anthony Anderson & Joseph Owens (eds.), Propositional Attitudes: The Role of Content in Logic, Language, and Mind. Stanford: Csli
David J. Chalmers (2003). The Nature of Narrow Content. Philosophical Issues 13 (1):46-66.
Pat A. Manfredi (1993). Two Routes to Narrow Content: Both Dead Ends. Philosophical Psychology 6 (1):3-22.
Joe Lau, Externalism About Mental Content. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
J. Christopher Maloney (1994). Content: Covariation, Control, and Contingency. Synthese 100 (2):241-90.
Frederick R. Adams & Gary Fuller (1992). Names, Contents, and Causes. Mind and Language 7 (3):205-21.
J. T. Whyte (1990). The Psycho-Physical Laws of Intentionality. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 4 (3):295 – 304.
Curtis Brown, Narrow Mental Content. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #161,520 of 1,727,043 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?