Stalnaker on Intentionality: On Robert Stalnaker’s Inquiry

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 67 (April):98-112 (1986)

Hartry Field
New York University
Argues that there are two reasons for ascribing to mental states, structures more fine-grained than the sets of possible world they represent: first, fine-grained structure enters naturally into the explanation of behaviour; second, fine-grained structure is needed in a theory of how those states represent the sets of possible worlds they represent. In connection with the first point, it is argued that Stalnaker’s attempt to use metalinguistic content to obviate the need of fine-grained structure cannot work. In connection with the second point, it is argued that the systematicity in the assignment of content to mental states can be accommodated only by postulating a fine-grained structure for mental states. Also contains some discussion of doing without representational content, understood in the non-deflationary sense that Stalnaker assumes.
Keywords Epistemology  Intensionality  Linguistic Truth  Pragmatic  Stalnaker, R
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