A Theory of Content and Other Essays by Jerry A. Fodor

By Jerry A. Fodor

This number of new and formerly released essays displays the key examine and regarded one among present day preeminent philosophers of brain. the 1st seven essays are philosophical items that target psychological illustration and the principles of intentionality; they're by way of 4 mental essays on cognitive structure. In his eloquent creation, Fodor exhibits how the 2 components are thematically united and epistemologically comparable, highlighting his curiosity to find possible choices to holistic debts of cognitive content material.

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Linguistic symbols, it' s very far from evident how , or even whether , the corresponding distinction can be 36 Chapter2 drawn . If I say to you 'John is thirty -two , ' you can learn something reliable about John' s age from what I said. , that he weighs more than a gram) . It may be possible to discipline the intuition that what you learn about John' s age you learn just from the symbol and what you learn about his weight you learn from the symbol plus background information . But drawing that distinction is notoriously hard and , if the construal of representation depends on our doing so, we are in serious trouble .

But , patently , there are going to have to be mental representations if this proposal is going to work . In computer design , causal role is brought into phase with content by exploiting parallelisms between the syntax of a symbol and its semantics. But that idea won ' t do the theory of mind any good unless there are mental symbols; mental particulars possessed of semantic and syntacticproperties . 4 A brief addendum before we end this section: the question of the extent to which RTM must be committed to the ' explicitness' of mental representation is one that keeps getting raised in the philo sophicalliterature (and elsewhere; see Dennett , 1978b; Stabler, 1983) .

And (2) that the tokening of a representation carries the information that s is F in digital form if and only if the information that s is F is the most specific information that tokening carries about s. Roughly speaking , the pretheoretic notion of the content of a representation is reconstructed as the information that the representation digitalizes . Now then : how does misrepresentation get into the picture ? There is, of course, no such thing as misinformation on Dretske ' s sort of story .

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