Are mental representations underdeterminacy-free?

Synthese:1-22 (forthcoming)
Abstract
According to some views, natural language suffers from underdeterminacy, but thought doesn’t. According to the underdeterminacy claim, sentence types underdetermine the truth-conditions of sentence tokens. In particular, the semantics of a predicate type seems to underdetermine the satisfaction conditions of its tokens. By contrast, mental representation-types are supposed to determine the truth-conditions of its tokens. In this paper I critically examine these mixed views. First, I argue that the arguments supporting the indispensability of including in one’s theory mental representations that are free of the underdeterminacy exhibited by natural language are not sound. As a result, the possibility that mental representation-types are as underdetermined as natural language sentence-types has not been ruled out. Second, I argue that Carston’s ad hoc concept-types are as underdetermined as word-types. I finish by arguing that mental representations are also underdetermined in a second sense—mental representation-tokens only determine a partial function from possible worlds to truth-values.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1494-9
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,827
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Scorekeeping in a Language Game.David Lewis - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):339--359.
Language, Thought and Compositionality.Jerry A. Fodor - 2001 - Mind and Language 16 (1):1-15.
Literal Meaning.John R. Searle - 1978 - Erkenntnis 13 (1):207 - 224.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
A Proof of the Partial Anomalousness of the Mental.John-Michael M. Kuczynski - 1998 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):491-504.
Reference and its Role in Computational Models of Mental Representations.Yorick Wilks - 1988 - In Umberto Eco (ed.), Meaning and Mental Representations. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 496--221.
Free Will and Mental Disorder: Exploring the Relationship.Gerben Meynen - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (6):429-443.
Free Will and Mental Quausation.Sara Bernstein & Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2:310-331.
Why There Are No Mental Representations.M. Morris - 1991 - Minds and Machines 1 (1):1-30.
Indexicality, Transparency, and Mental Files.Derek Ball - 2015 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (4):353-367.
Underdeterminacy & Attitude-Reports.Thomas Hodgson - 2011 - UCL Working Papers in Linguistics.
Representing is More Than Emulating.Hongbin Wang & Yingrui Yang - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (3):420-421.
Added to PP index
2017-07-21

Total downloads
11 ( #438,273 of 2,210,107 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #80,629 of 2,210,107 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature