The problem of cognitive dynamics

This paper is devoted to an examination of some aspects of the central issue of Cognitive Dynamics, the issue about the conditions under which intentional mental states may persist over time. I discuss two main sorts of approach to the topic: the directly referential approach, which I take as best represented in David Kaplan?s views, and the neo-Fregean approach, which I take as best represented in Gareth Evans?s views. The upshot of my discussion is twofold. On the one hand, I argue that both Kaplan?s account and Evans?s account are on the whole defective (for different sorts of reason, of course); even though there are features of each of those views which seem to me to be along the right lines. On the other, and in spite of that, I claim that a broadly Fregean theory is still to be preferred since by positing semantically efficacious modes of presentation it is clearly better equipped to deal adequately with some important phenomena in the area. In particular, I argue that the notion of a memory-based demonstrative mode of presentation of an object (a spatio-temporal particular, a region in space, a period of time, etc.) turns out to be indispensable for the purpose of accounting for the persistence of an important range of mental states with propositional content over time.
Keywords Language  Reference  Evans, G  Frege  Kaplan, D
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DOI 10.5840/gps1998/99563
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