Is mental content prior to linguistic meaning?: Stalnaker on intentionality

Noûs 40 (3):428-467 (2006)
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Abstract

Since the 1960's, work in the analytic tradition on the nature of mental and linguistic content has converged on the views that social facts about public language meaning are derived from facts about the thoughts of individuals, and that these thoughts are constituted by properties of the internal states of agents. I give a two-part argument against this picture of intentionality: first, that if mental content is prior to public language meaning, then a view of mental content much like the causal-pragmatic theory presented by Robert Stalnaker in Inquiry must be correct; second, that the causal-pragmatic theory is false. I conclude with some positive suggestions regarding alternative solutions to the `problem of intentionality.'.

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Jeff Speaks
University of Notre Dame

Citations of this work

Varieties of cognitive achievement.J. Adam Carter, Benjamin W. Jarvis & Katherine Rubin - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1603-1623.
A metalinguistic and computational approach to the problem of mathematical omniscience.Zeynep Soysal - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (2):455-474.
Causal theories of mental content.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (2):353–380.
“Assertion” and intentionality.Jason Stanley - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (1):87-113.

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References found in this work

Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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