David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 5 (2):133-151 (1992)
In the third chapter of his book Psychosemantics , Jerry A. Fodor argues that the truth of meaning holism (the thesis that the content of a psychological state is determined by the totality of that state's epistemic liaisons) would be fatal for intentionalistic psychology. This is because holism suggests that no two people are ever in the same intentional state, and so a psychological theory that generalizes over such states will be composed of generalizations which fail to generalize. Fodor then sets out to show that there is no reason to believe in holism by arguing that its primary foundation (i.e. functional-role semantics), when properly understood (i.e. when construed as a two-factor theory of content), is demonstrably false. In this paper, I argue two claims. First, I try to show that Fodor has seriously misrepresented two-factor theories and that his arguments against his strawman do nothing to indicate the falsity of the genuine article. Second, I argue that if one accepts meaning holism in the form of a two-factor theory, there is no particular reason to think that one is hereby committed to the futility of intentionalistic psychology. In making this point, I make a brief excursion into the psychological literature during which I discuss the belief perseverance phenomenon, the encoding specificity hypothesis, and a problem in human deductive reasoning. My second argument leads to a discussion of how such a psychology could be developed even if no two people are ever in the same intentional state
|Keywords||Mind Psychology Science Semantics Wholism Fodor, J|
|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
Francisco Calvo Garzón (2000). State Space Semantics and Conceptual Similarity: Reply to Churchland. Philosophical Psychology 13 (1):77-95.
Pat A. Manfredi (1993). Two Routes to Narrow Content: Both Dead Ends. Philosophical Psychology 6 (1):3-22.
Andrew Pessin (1995). In Defense of Conceptual Holism: Reply to Fodor and Lepore. Journal of Philosophical Research 20:269-280.
Jonathan Knowles (2001). Does Intentional Psychology Need Vindicating by Cognitive Science? Minds and Machines 11 (3):347-377.
Charles E. M. Dunlop (2004). Mentalese Semantics and the Naturalized Mind. Philosophical Psychology 17 (1):77-94.
Andr Kukla (1989). Meaning Holism and Intentional Psychology. Analysis 49 (October):173-175.
Kenneth R. Livingston (1993). What Fodor Means: Some Thoughts on Reading Jerry Fodor's A Theory of Content and Other Essays. Philosophical Psychology 6 (3):289-301.
Christopher Gauker (1993). Holism Without Meaning: A Critical Review of Fodor and Lepore's Holism: A Shopper's Guide. Philosophical Psychology 6 (4):441-49.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads181 ( #4,208 of 1,139,990 )
Recent downloads (6 months)28 ( #6,599 of 1,139,990 )
How can I increase my downloads?