On What's in the Head

Robert C. Stalnaker

in Context and Content

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780198237075
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598456 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Cognitive Science Series

On What's in the Head

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A criticism of internalism (and a defence of externalism) about the content of propositional attitudes. It is argued that the hypothesis that there is a notion of narrow content that might be used to characterize intentional mental states is a substantive hypothesis. There is little reason to believe that the hypothesis is true, or that we need a notion of narrow content to explain the relevance of propositional attitudes to the explanation of behaviour. Characterizations of narrow content by Jerry Fodor and by Daniel Dennett are criticized. Different ways in which the content of an attitude may be causally relevant are distinguished.

Keywords: causal relevance; Daniel Dennett; Jerry Fodor; externalism; internalism; mental state; narrow content; propositional attitude

Chapter.  12602 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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