Two factor theories, meaning wholism and intentionalistic psychology: A reply to Fodor

Philosophical Psychology 5 (2):133-151 (1992)
Abstract
In the third chapter of his book Psychosemantics , Jerry A. Fodor argues that the truth of meaning holism (the thesis that the content of a psychological state is determined by the totality of that state's epistemic liaisons) would be fatal for intentionalistic psychology. This is because holism suggests that no two people are ever in the same intentional state, and so a psychological theory that generalizes over such states will be composed of generalizations which fail to generalize. Fodor then sets out to show that there is no reason to believe in holism by arguing that its primary foundation (i.e. functional-role semantics), when properly understood (i.e. when construed as a two-factor theory of content), is demonstrably false. In this paper, I argue two claims. First, I try to show that Fodor has seriously misrepresented two-factor theories and that his arguments against his strawman do nothing to indicate the falsity of the genuine article. Second, I argue that if one accepts meaning holism in the form of a two-factor theory, there is no particular reason to think that one is hereby committed to the futility of intentionalistic psychology. In making this point, I make a brief excursion into the psychological literature during which I discuss the belief perseverance phenomenon, the encoding specificity hypothesis, and a problem in human deductive reasoning. My second argument leads to a discussion of how such a psychology could be developed even if no two people are ever in the same intentional state
Keywords Mind  Psychology  Science  Semantics  Wholism  Fodor, J
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089208573048
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
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
Psychology of Reasoning: Structure and Content.P. C. Wason & P. N. Johnson - 1974 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 7 (3):193-197.
Conceptual Role Semantics.Mark Greenberg & Gilbert Harman - 2007 - In Ernest LePore & Barry Smith (eds.), Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 242-256.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Troubles with the Causal Homeostasis Theory of Reference.Charles Nussbaum - 2001 - Philosophical Psychology 14 (2):155 – 178.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
439 ( #5,362 of 2,192,001 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #42,191 of 2,192,001 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature