Oxford University Press, 2018 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 213 pages
It is natural to distinguish, for any thinking creature, those events and states that are internal to the creature -- its brain states, for example -- from those that are not. Narrow mental content, if there is such a thing, is content that is entirely determined by the goings-on inside the
head of the thinker. A central question in the philosophy of mind since the mid-1970s has been whether there is a kind of mental content that is narrow in this sense. One important line of thought -- by 'externalists' -- has been that so-called intentional states, such as wishing that they sky were
blue and believing that the sky is blue, are, perhaps surprisingly, not internal: there could be twins who are exactly alike on the inside but differ with respect to such intentional states. In the face of this wave of externalism, many philosophers have argued that there must be some good sense in
which our intentional states are internal after all, and that such narrow content can play various key explanatory roles relating, inter alia, to epistemology and the explanation of action. This book argues that this is a forlorn hope, and defends a thoroughgoing externalism. The entanglement of
our minds with the external world runs so deep that no internal component of mentality can easily be cordoned off.
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agential duplicates argument Aristotle assertoric assertoric content assignment is narrow assumption belief biconditional Burge's Chalmers claim conception condition consider constraints coordination coreference corresponding thought counterexamples counterfactual David Chalmers Derek Parfit determined discussion Doppelgänger Doppelgänger-related environment epistemic example explanatory expressions extension fact false Fodorian function idea interesting narrow content intrinsic properties John Travolta Juhani Kaplan Kaplanian linguistic mental metaphysically possible Mirror name tokens narrow character narrow content assignment narrow semantic necessarily non-qualitative notion of narrowness oregano pair of thoughts paradigmatically phenomenal philosopher possible situation predicate primary intension assignment priori entailment priority proposition propositional attitude Putnam quasi-internalist quasi-narrow content assignment r-narrow rationality-theoretic refer relativism relevant RQAP sectarian internalism sectarian internalist semantic relations sense sentence singular terms structure subatomic thought constituents supervenes Suppose syntactic theoretically interesting narrow theorizing thesis things thought constituents thought occurs true truth values truth-conditional narrow content truth-functional Twin Earth ur-content assignment