Content, causation, and psychophysical supervenience

Philosophy of Science 60 (2):242-61 (1993)
Authors
Joseph Owens
University of Minnesota
Abstract
There is a growing acceptance of the idea that the explanatory states of folk psychology do not supervene on the physical. Even Fodor (1987) seems to grant as much. He argues, however, that this cannot be true of theoretical psychology. Since theoretical psychology offers causal explanations, its explanatory states must be taxonomized in such a way as to supervene on the physical. I use this concession to invert his argument and cast doubt on the received model of folk psychological explanation as causal explanation by intentionally individuated states. This in turn undermines the central model of cognitive theory--causal explanation by representational states
Keywords Causation  Content  Epistemology  Supervenience
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DOI 10.1086/289731
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