David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 15 (2):119-33 (2002)
A major obstacle to formulating a broad-content intentional psychology is the occurrence of ''Frege cases'' - cases in which a person apparently believes or desires Fa but not Fb and acts accordingly, even though "a" and "b" have the same broad content. Frege cases seem to demand narrow-content distinctions to explain actions by the contents of beliefs and desires. Jerry Fodor ( The elm and the expert: Mentalese and its semantics , Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1994) argues that an explanatorily adequate broad-content psychology is nonetheless possible because Frege cases rarely occur in intentional-explanatory contexts, and they are not systematically linked to intentional laws in a way that demands intentional explanation. Thus, he claims, behaviors associated with Frege cases can be considered ceteris-paribus exceptions to broad-content intentional laws without significantly decreasing the explanatory power of intentional psychology. I argue that Frege cases are plentiful and systematically linked to intentional laws in a way that requires intentional explanation, specifically in the explanation of why certain actions are not performed. Consequently, Frege-case behaviors cannot be construed as ceteris-paribus exceptions to intentional laws without significantly eroding the explanatory power of intentional psychology and reducing the rationality of the agent. Fodor thus fails to save broad-content psychology from the prima facie objections against it based on Frege cases.
|Keywords||Action Externalism Mind Psychology Science Fodor, J Frege|
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References found in this work BETA
Jaegwon Kim (1992). Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1):1-26.
Jerry A. Fodor (1974). Special Sciences. Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
Jerry A. Fodor (1991). You Can Fool Some of the People All of the Time, Everything Else Being Equal: Hedged Laws and Psychological Explanation. Mind 100 (397):19-34.
Stephen R. Schiffer (1991). Ceteris Paribus Laws. Mind 100 (397):1-17.
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