Stalnaker on Intentionality

Hartry Field

in Truth and the Absence of Fact

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780199242894
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597381 | DOI:
 Stalnaker on Intentionality

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Argues that there are two reasons for ascribing to mental states, structures more fine‐grained than the sets of possible world they represent: first, fine‐grained structure enters naturally into the explanation of behaviour; second, fine‐grained structure is needed in a theory of how those states represent the sets of possible worlds they represent. In connection with the first point, it is argued that Stalnaker's attempt to use metalinguistic content to obviate the need of fine‐grained structure cannot work. In connection with the second point, it is argued that the systematicity in the assignment of content to mental states can be accommodated only by postulating a fine‐grained structure for mental states. Also contains some discussion of doing without representational content, understood in the non‐deflationary sense that Stalnaker assumes.

Keywords: belief; conceptual role; functionalism; language of thought; logical connectives; narrow psychology; representation; semantics; Stalnaker; truth‐conditions

Chapter.  12036 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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