The psycho-physical laws of intentionality

Abstract Intentional mental states have causes and effects. Davidson has shown that this fact alone does not entail the existence of psycho?physical laws, but his anomalism makes the connection between the content and causation of intentional states utterly mysterious. By defining intentional states in terms of their causes and effects, functionalism promises to explain this connection. If intentional states have their causes and effects in virtue of their contents, then there must be intrinsic states (of the people who have them) which are ?local causal surrogates? for the propositions believed, desired, or whatever. We can define these intrinsic states in terms of the laws that govern them, but these laws alone are not sufficient to account for intentional content. To do that we need to invoke laws which link these intrinsic states with their contents. Such a ?wide? functional account is sketched; it combines a suggestion of Ramsey's about truth conditions with a ?feedback? account of the content of desires
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DOI 10.1080/02698599008573369
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