Mental filing

Noûs 56 (1):204-226 (2022)
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We offer an interpretation of the mental files framework that eliminates the metaphor of files, information being contained in files, etc. The guiding question is whether, once we move beyond the metaphors, there is any theoretical role for files. We claim not. We replace the file-metaphor with two theses: the semantic thesis that there are irreducibly relational representational facts (viz. facts about the coordination of representations); and the metasemantic thesis that processes tied to information-relations ground those facts. In its canonical statement, the ‘file’-theory makes reference to a certain kind of relational representational feature, and a certain kind of mental activity. Mental files need not come into it. In short, we posit mental filing without mental files. Our interpretation avoids awkward problems that arise on the standard interpretation and clarifies the explanatory commitments of the theory.



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Author Profiles

Rachel Goodman
University of Illinois, Chicago
Aidan Gray
University of Illinois, Chicago

Citations of this work

Does singular thought have an epistemic essence?James Openshaw - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Mental Filing Systems: A User's Guide.Henry Clarke - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8.
Minimal Fregeanism.Aidan Gray - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):429-458.

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References found in this work

Reference and Consciousness.J. Campbell - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Semantic Relationism.Kit Fine - 2007 - Blackwell.
The Causal Theory of Names.Gareth Evans - 1973 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 47 (1):187–208.

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