Synthese 195 (8):3499-3518 (2018)

Authors
Poong Lee
Kyung Hee University
Abstract
In this paper, I argue that mental files are both concepts and bodies of information, against the existing views proposed by Fodor and Recanati. Fodor argues that mental files are not concepts but memories of information because concepts are mental symbols. However, Fodor’s argument against the identification of mental files with concepts fails. Recanati disagrees with Fodor and argues that mental files are concepts. But Recanati’s view does not differ essentially from Fodor’s because Recanati holds that mental files are simple mental symbols that cannot be composite entities such as bodies of information. I show that Recanati fails to capture the significance of the notion of mental files as repositories of information. More importantly, we should accept that mental files are bodies of information that literally contain pieces of information. By holding that concepts are bodies of information, we can provide a simpler account with a wider explanatory scope that explains how concepts carry cognitive significance and why one concept is deployed in thought instead of another co-referring concept.
Keywords mental files  mental symbols  concepts  language of thought hypothesis  information  modes of presentation  cognitive significance
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1381-4
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References found in this work BETA

The Reference Book.John Hawthorne & David Manley - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
Mental Files.François Recanati - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.

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