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Richard DeWitt. Vagueness, Semantics, and the Language of Thought

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Author:   Richard DeWitt
Headline:   Vagueness, Semantics, and the Language of Thought
Format:   HTML
Language:   English

Keywords: intentionality, mental causation, language of thought, vagueness, semantics, mental representation

Abstract: In recent years, a number of well-known intentional realists have focused their energy on attempts to provide a naturalized theory of mental representation. What tends to be overlooked, however, is that a naturalized theory of mental representation will not, by itself, salvage intentional realism. Since most naturalistic properties play no interesting causal role, intentional realists must also solve the problem of showing how intentional properties (such as representational properties), even if naturalized, could be causally efficacious. Because of certain commitments, this problem is especially difficult for intentional realists such as Fodor. In the current paper I focus on the problem as it arises for such realists, and I argue that the best-known solution proposed to date is inadequate. If what I say is correct, then such intentional realists are left with an additional and substantial problem, and one that has generally not been sufficiently appreciated.

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