The determinable–determinate relation can’t save adverbialism

Analysis 78 (1):45-52 (2018)
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Abstract

Adverbialist theories of thought such as those advanced by Hare and Sellars promise an ontologically sleek understanding of a variety of intentional states, but such theories have been largely abandoned due to the ‘many-property problem’. In an attempt to revitalize this otherwise attractive theory, in a series of papers as well as his recent book, Uriah Kriegel has offered a novel reply to the ‘many-property problem’ and on its basis he argues that ‘adverbialism about intentionality is alive and well’. If true, Kriegel will have shown that the logical landscape has long been unnecessarily constrained. His key idea is that the many-property problem can be overcome by appreciating that mental states stand in the determinable–determinate relation to one another. The present paper shows that this relation can’t save adverbialism because it would require thinkers to think more thoughts than they need be thinking.

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Alex Grzankowski
Birkbeck, University of London