Meaning holism and intentional content

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 75 (1):29-53 (1994)
Abstract
In this essay I defend meaning holism against certain criticisms that Jerry Fodor has presented against it. In "Psychosemantics" he argued that meaning holism is incompatible with the development of scientific psychology given the ways in which scientific psychology adverts to intentional content. In his recent book "Holism" (co-authored with Ernest Lepore) he indicates that he still upholds this argument. I argue that Fodor's argument fails, and argue in favor of the compatibility of meaning holism with scientific psychology. I also argue positively in favor of meaning holism, arguing in part that, contrary to Fodor's claims, psychofunctionalism provides a strong basis for defending meaning holism. As part of this argument, I contend, contrary to Fodor, that narrow content, as derived from psychofunctionalism, should be construed as semantic
Keywords Content  Epistemology  Holism  Intentionality  Semantics  Fodor, J
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