Mental Content and Linguistic Form

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

Mental Content and Linguistic Form

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Contrasts possible‐worlds propositions with more fine‐grained structured propositions that build linguistic or quasi‐linguistic form into the contents of thought. The main argument is that the hypothesis that structured propositions are the objects of intentional mental states can be justified only if one's account of what mental states are, and how their content is determined, explains the role of the linguistic structure in distinguishing between different mental states. Several different ways in which linguistic structure might be involved in intentional mental states are distinguished. It is argued that neither an account of intentionality that presupposes a language of thought nor an account that makes linguistic expression essential to intentionality can be justified.

Keywords: content; intentionality; language of thought; mental state; possible‐worlds proposition; structured proposition

Chapter.  7531 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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