Mind and Language 12 (3-4):422-458 (1997)

Authors
Murat Aydede
University of British Columbia
Abstract
In his latest book, The Elm and the Expert (1994), Fodor notoriously rejects the notion of narrow content as superfluous. He envisions a scientific intentional psychology that adverts only to broad content properties in its explanations. I argue that Fodor's change in view is only apparent and that his previous position (1985-1991) is extensionally equivalent to his "new" position (1994). I show that, despite what he says narrow content is for in his (1994), Fodor himself has previously never appealed to the notion of narrow content in explaining Frege cases and cases involving the so-called deferential concepts. And for good reason: his notion of narrow content (1985-91) couldn't explain them. The only apparent change concerns his treatment of Twin Earth cases. However, I argue that the notion of broad content that his purely informational semantics delivers is, in some interesting sense, equivalent to the mapping notion of narrow content he officially gave up. For his pure informational semantics fails to avoid assigning disjunctive content to twins, since nomic covariations take care not only actual but also counterfactual contexts into account. I show that none of the attempts made by Fodor to block this consequence of his theory works. The present notion of broad content he now operates with is therefore in a position to take over all the important jobs that his previous notion of narrow content could do
Keywords Content  Epistemology  Language  Narrow  Fodor, J
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0017.1997.tb00082.x
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Language of Thought Hypothesis.Murat Aydede - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Fodor on Concepts and Frege Puzzles.Murat Aydede - 1998 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (4):289-294.
Are Frege Cases Exceptions to Intentional Generalizations?Murat Aydede & Philip Robbins - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):1-22.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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