Narrow Content

Gabriel Segal

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199262618
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Narrow Content

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The notion of narrow content arises from Hilary Putnam's well-known article ‘The Meaning of “Meaning” ‘. Putnam raised the question of whether the meaning of a word in a given subject's mouth is fixed by the subject's psychological states in (what he termed) ‘the narrow sense’. According to Putnam, a psychological state is narrow if a subject's being in that state does not presuppose the existence of anything outside the subject. The idea is that a narrow psychological state is intrinsic to the subject: it does not in any essential way require the subject to stand in any particular relations to anything in her environment.

Keywords: narrow content; Hilary Putnam; meaning of a word; psychological states; subject; narrow sense

Article.  6925 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Mind

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