The price of information

Synthese 107 (3):325-347 (1996)
In this paper I apply an old problem of Quine's (the inscrutability of reference in translation) to a new style of theory about mental content (causal/nomological/informational accounts of meaning) and conclude that no "naturalization" of content of the sort currently popular can solve Quine's "gavagai" enigma. I show how failure to solve the problem leads to absurd conclusions not about one's own mental life, but about the non-mental world. I discuss various ways of attempting to remedy the accounts so as to avoid the problem and explain why each attempt at solving the problem would take the information theorists further from their self-assigned task of "naturalizing" semantics
Keywords Content  Epistemology  Information  Dretske, F  Fodor, J  Price
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00413840
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,233
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Word and Object.W. V. Quine - 1960 - MIT Press.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Mind, Language, and Reality.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Cambridge University Press.
Psychosemantics.Jerry Fodor - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):384-389.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Intension and Representation: Quine's Indeterminacy Thesis Revisited.Itay Shani - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):415 – 440.
Fodor's Ingratitude and Change of Heart?Georges Rey - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (1):70-84.
Fodor on Inscrutability.Jerome C. Wakefield - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (5):524-537.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Reference of de Re Representations.Frank Hofmann - 2001 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 62 (1):83-101.
Reply to Dretske's Does Meaning Matter?.Jerry A. Fodor - 1990 - In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Information, Semantics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Blackwell.
Absolute Informational Content.Steven F. Savitt - 1987 - Synthese 70 (February):185-90.
Mind, Content and Information.Radu J. Bogdan - 1987 - Synthese 70 (February):205-227.
Jerry Fodor on Non-Conceptual Content.Katalin Balog - 2009 - Synthese 167 (3):311 - 320.
Narrow Content and Historical Accounts: Can Fodor Live Without Them?Kam-Yuen Cheng - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:101-113.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

91 ( #57,167 of 2,172,879 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #172,512 of 2,172,879 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums