An Argument against Causal Theories of Mental Content

American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):117-129 (2009)
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Abstract

Some mental states are about themselves. Nothing is a cause of itself. So some mental states are not about their causes; they are about things distinct from their causes. If this argument is sound, it spells trouble for causal theories of mental content—the precise sort of trouble depending on the precise sort of causal theory. This paper shows that the argument is sound (§§1-3), and then spells out the trouble (§4).

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Todd Buras
Baylor University

References found in this work

The representational character of experience.David J. Chalmers - 2004 - In Brian Leiter (ed.), The Future for Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 153--181.
The content and epistemology of phenomenal belief.David Chalmers - 2003 - In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 220--72.
Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.Joseph Levine - 2001 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.

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