Javascript Menu by
MindPapers is now part of PhilPapers: online research in philosophy, a new service with many more features.
 Compiled by David Chalmers (Editor) & David Bourget (Assistant Editor), Australian National University. Submit an entry.
click here for help on how to search

2.2a. Is Content in the Head? (Is Content in the Head? on PhilPapers)

See also:
Brown, J. (1998). Natural kind terms and recognitional capacities. Mind 107 (426):275-303.   (Cited by 23 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The main contribution of this paper is a new account of how a community may introduce a term for a natural kind in advance of knowing the correct scientific account of that kind. The account is motivated by the inadequacy of the currently dominant accounts of how a community may do this, namely those proposed by Kripke and by Putman. Their accounts fail to deal satisfactorily with the facts that (1) typically, an item that instantiates one natural kind instantiates several - 'the higher-level natural kinds problem', and (2) natural kinds often occur in nature in impure form - 'the composition problem' .On the account I propose, a term for a natural kind gains its reference by being associated with a recognitional capacity for that kind. I show how members of a scientifically ignorant community could have a recognitional capacity for a natural kind, say gold, as opposed to a certain kind of appearance, for instance the appearance that gold actually has. I argue that members of such a community can have recognitional capacities for particular natural kinds despite the actual or possible existence of duplicate kinds, e.g. water. After developing the account in detail, I show how it can deal with the two problems faced by Kripke's and Putnam's problem. The case of natural kind terms is crucial to the central debate in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind about whether we can refer non-descriptively to objects and kinds in the world. I take the account I propose to be a non-descriptive account of linguistic reference to natural kinds that can be used to support externalism in the philosophy of mind
Brueckner, Anthony L. (2003). Contents just aren't in the head. Erkenntnis 58 (1):1-6.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Bruns, M. & Soldati, Gianfranco (1997). Object-dependent and property-dependent concepts. Dialectica 48 (3-4):185-208.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Brueckner, Anthony L. (1995). The characteristic thesis of anti-individualism. Analysis 55 (3):146-48.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Burge, Tyler (1982). Other bodies. In Andrew Woodfield (ed.), Thought and Object. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 94 | Annotation | Google)
Butler, Keith (1998). Internal Affairs: Making Room for Psychosemantic Internalism. Kluwer.   (Cited by 8 | Annotation | Google)
Campbell, John (1982). Extension and psychic state: Twin earth revisited. Philosophical Studies 42 (June):67-90.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Chomsky, Noam A. (2003). Internalist explorations. In Martin Hahn & B. Ramberg (eds.), Reflections and Replies: Essays on the Philosophy of Tyler Burge. MIT Press.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Christensen, Carleton B. (2001). Escape from twin earth: Putnam's 'logic' of natural kind terms. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (2):123-150.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Many still seem confident that the kind of semantic theory Putnam once proposed for natural kind terms is right. This paper seeks to show that this confidence is misplaced because the general idea underlying the theory is incoherent. Consequently, the theory must be rejected prior to any consideration of its epistemological, ontological or metaphysical acceptability. Part I sets the stage by showing that falsehoods, indeed absurdities, follow from the theory when one deliberately suspends certain devices Putnam built into it , presumably in order to block such entailments. Part II then raises the decisive issue of at what cost these devices do the job they need to do. It argues that - apart from possessing no other motivation than their capacity to block the consequences derived in Part I - they only fulfil this blocking function if they render the theory unable to deal with fiction and related 'make-believe' activities. Part III indicates the affinity Putnam's account has with the classically 'denotative' view of meaning, and thus how its weaknesses may be seen as a variant of the classical weakness of 'denotative' approaches. It concludes that the theory is a conceptual muddle
Crane, Tim (1991). All the difference in the world. Philosophical Quarterly 41 (January):1-25.   (Cited by 25 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Cummins, Robert E. (1991). Methodological reflections on belief. In R. Bogdan (ed.), Mind and Common Sense. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google)
Davis, Steven (2003). Arguments for externalism. In Maria J. Frapolli & E. Romero (eds.), Meaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and Mind. Csli.   (Google)
Devitt, Michael (2001). A shocking idea about meaning. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 55 (218):471-494.   (Google)
Devitt, Michael (1990). Meanings just ain't in the head. In George S. Boolos (ed.), Meaning and Method: Essays in Honor of Hilary Putnam. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 17 | Annotation | Google)
Dretske, Fred (1993). The nature of thought. Philosophical Studies 70 (2):185-99.   (Cited by 17 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Endicott, Ronald P. (forthcoming). Multiple realizability. In Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Multiple realizability is a key issue in debates over the nature of mind and reduction in the sciences. The subject consists of two parts:
Farkas, Katalin (2003). Does twin earth rest on a mistake? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (8):155-169.   (Google)
Farkas, Katalin (2008). Phenomenal intentionality without compromise. The Monist 91 (2):273-93.   (Google)
Abstract: In recent years, several philosophers have defended the idea of phenomenal intentionality: the intrinsic directedness of certain conscious mental events which is inseparable from these events’ phenomenal character. On this conception, phenomenology is usually conceived as narrow, that is, as supervening on the internal states of subjects, and hence phenomenal intentionality is a form of narrow intentionality. However, defenders of this idea usually maintain that there is another kind of, externalistic intentionality, which depends on factors external to the subject. We may ask whether this concession to content externalism is obligatory. In this paper, I shall argue that it isn’t. I shall suggest that if one is convinced that narrow phenomenal intentionality is legitimate, there is nothing stopping one from claiming that all intentionality is narrow.
Farkas, Katalin (2006). Semantic internalism and externalism. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: Abstract: This paper introduces and analyses the doctrine of externalism about semantic content; discusses the Twin Earth argument for externalism and the assumptions behind it, and examines the question of whether externalism about content is compatible with a privileged knowledge of meanings and mental contents.
Farkas, Katalin (2008). The Subject's Point of View. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Descartes's philosophy has had a considerable influence on the modern conception of the mind, but many think that this influence has been largely negative. The main project of The Subject's Point of View is to argue that discarding certain elements of the Cartesian conception would be much more difficult than critics seem to allow, since it is tied to our understanding of basic notions, including the criteria for what makes someone a person, or one of us. The crucial feature of the Cartesian view defended here is not dualism--which is not adopted--but internalism. Internalism is opposed to the widely accepted externalist thesis, which states that some mental features constitutively depend on certain features of our physical and social environment. In contrast, this book defends the minority internalist view, which holds that the mind is autonomous, and though it is obviously affected by the environment, this influence is merely contingent and does not delimit what is thinkable in principle. Defenders of the externalist view often present their theory as the most thoroughgoing criticism of the Cartesian conception of the mind; Katalin Farkas offers a defence of an uncompromising internalist Cartesian conception
Farkas, Katalin (2003). What is externalism? Philosophical Studies 112 (3):187-208.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The content of the externalist thesis about the mind depends crucially on how we define the distinction between the internal and the external. According to the usual understanding, the boundary between the internal and the external is the skull or the skin of the subject. In this paper I argue that the usual understanding is inadequate, and that only the new understanding of the external/internal distinction I suggest helps us to understand the issue of the compatibility of externalism and privileged access
Fisher, Justin C. (2007). Why nothing mental is just in the head. Nous 41 (2):318-334.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Mental internalists hold that an individuals mental features at a given time supervene upon what is in that individuals head at that time. While many people reject mental internalism about content and justification, mental internalism is commonly accepted regarding such other mental features as rationality, emotion-types, propositional-attitude-types, moral character, and phenomenology. I construct a counter-example to mental internalism regarding all these features. My counter-example involves two creatures: a human and an alien from Pulse World. These creatures environments, behavioral dispositions and histories are such that it is intuitively clear that they are mentally quite different, even while they are, for a moment, exactly alike with respect to whats in their heads. I offer positive reasons for thinking that the case I describe is indeed possible. I then consider ways in which mental internalists might attempt to account for this case, but conclude that the only plausible option is to reject mental internalism and to adopt a particular externalist alternative a history-oriented version of teleo-functionalism
Floyd, Juliet (2005). Putnam's 'the meaning of meaning': Externalism in historical context. In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Hilary Putnam (Contemporary Philosophy in Focus). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.   (Google | More links)
Frances, Bryan (ms). A philosophically inexpensive introduction to twin-earth.   (Google)
Abstract: I say that it’s philosophically inexpensive because I think it is more convincing than any other Twin-Earth thought experiment in that it sidesteps many of the standard objections to the usual thought experiments. I also briefly discuss narrow contents and give an analysis of Putnam’s original argument
Frances, Bryan (online). Twin earth thought experiments.   (Google)
Abstract: Suppose that you had always had a physical twin, Chris, who on a different planet went through life having physical characteristics, sensory experiences, utterances, and brain processes exactly the same as yours in every physical and sensory respect. Chris
Gavran, Ana (2004). Tim Crane on the internalism-externalism debate. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (11):207-218.   (Google)
Green, Mitchell S. (2000). The status of supposition. Noûs 34 (3):376–399.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: According to many forms of Externalism now popular in the Philosophy of Mind, the contents of our thoughts depend in part upon our physical or social milieu.1 These forms of Externalism leave unchallenged the thesis that the ~non-factive! attitudes we bear towards these contents are independent of physical or social milieu. This paper challenges that thesis. It is argued here that publicly forwarding a content as a supposition for the sake of argument is, under conditions not themselves guaranteeing the existence of that state, sufficient for occupancy of the intentional state of supposing that content. Because a saying may literally create an intentional state, whether one is in such a state does not depend solely upon how things are within one’s skin. Rather, even leaving content fixed, the attitude borne toward that content depends in part upon what norms are in force in one’s milieu
Horowitz, Amir (2001). Contents just are in the head. Erkenntnis 54 (3):321-344.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Horowitz, Amir (2005). Externalism, the environment, and thought-tokens. Erkenntnis 63 (1):133-138.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Horowitz, Amir (1995). Putnam, Searle, and externalism. Philosophical Studies 81 (1):27-69.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Hyde, William H. (1981). On meaning the micro-state. Philosophical Investigations 4:25-34.   (Google)
Koethe, John L. (1992). And they ain't outside the head either. Synthese 90 (1):27-53.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Korman, Daniel Z. (2006). What externalists should say about dry earth. Journal of Philosophy 103 (10):503-520.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Dry earth seems to its inhabitants (our intrinsic duplicates) just as earth seems to us, that is, it seems to them as though there are rivers and lakes and a clear, odorless liquid flowing from their faucets. But, in fact, this is an illusion; there is no such liquid anywhere on the planet. I address two objections to externalism concerning the nature of the concept that is expressed by the word 'water' in the mouths of the inhabitants of dry earth. Gabriel Segal presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the application conditions of the concept, and Paul Boghossian presents a dilemma for the externalist concerning the complexity of the concept. I show that, in both cases, the externalist may occupy the horn of his choice without departing from either the letter or spirit of externalism
Lau, Joe (online). Externalism about mental content. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Abstract: Externalism with regard to mental content says that in order to have certain types of intentional mental states (e.g. beliefs), it is necessary to be related to the environment in the right way
Liz, Manuel (2003). Intentional states: Individuation, explanation, and supervenience. In Maria J. Frapolli & E. Romero (eds.), Meaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and Mind. Csli.   (Google)
Longworth, Guy (2003). Where should we look for the mind? Think 5.   (Google)
Ludwig, Kirk A. (1996). Duplicating thoughts. Mind and Language 11 (1):92-102.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Ludlow, Peter (2003). Externalism, logical form, and linguistic intentions. In Alex Barber (ed.), Epistemology of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Ludwig, Kirk A. (1993). Externalism, naturalism, and method. Philosophical Issues 4:250-264.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Mandelkar, S. (1991). An argument against the externalist account of psychological content. Philosophical Psychology 4:375-82.   (Annotation | Google)
McCulloch, Gregory (1992). The spirit of twin earth. Analysis 52 (3):168-174.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google)
McGilvray, James A. (1998). Meanings are syntactically individuated and found in the head. Mind and Language 13 (2):225-280.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
McGlone, Michael (forthcoming). Putnam on What Isn't in the Head. Philosophical Studies.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In “The Meaning of ‘Meaning’” Putnam argues, among other things, that “‘meanings’ just ain’t in the head”. Putnam’s central arguments in favor of this conclusion are unsound. The arguments in question are the famous intra‐world Twin Earth arguments, given on pages 223‐ 227 of the article in question.
McKinsey, Michael (1991). The internal basis of meaning. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (June):143-69.   (Cited by 11 | Annotation | Google)
Mundale, Jennifer & Bechtel, William P. (online). Multiple realizability revisited.   (Google)
Abstract: The claim of the multiple realizability of mental states by brain states has been a major feature of the dominant philosophy of mind of the late 20th century. The claim is usually motivated by evidence that mental states are multiply realized, both within humans and between humans and other species. We challenge this contention by focusing on how neuroscientists differentiate brain areas. The fact that they rely centrally on psychological measures in mapping the brain and do so in a comparative fashion undercuts the likelihood that, at least within organic life forms, we are likely to find cases of multiply realized psychological functions
Owens, Joseph (2003). Anti-individualism, indexicality, and character. In Martin Hahn & B. Ramberg (eds.), Reflections and Replies: Essays on the Philosophy of Tyler Burge. MIT Press.   (Google)
Owens, Joseph (1983). Functionalism and the propositional attitudes. Noûs 17 (November):529-49.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Pelczar, Michael (forthcoming). Content internalism about indexical thought. American Philosophical Quarterly.   (Google)
Abstract: Properly understood, content internalism is the thesis that any difference between the representational contents of two individuals' mental states reduces to a difference in those individuals' intrinsic properties. Some of the strongest arguments against internalism turn on the possibility for two "doppelgangers" –- perfect physical and phenomenal duplicates -– to differ with respect to the contents of those of their mental states that they can express using terms such as "I," "here," and "now." In this paper, I grant the stated possibility, but deny that it poses any threat to internalism. Despite their similarities, doppelgangers differ in some of their intrinsic properties, and it is to such intrinsic differences that differences of indexical content reduce.
Putnam, Hilary (1975). The meaning of 'meaning'. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.   (Cited by 1506 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Robinson, Howard M. (2003). Some externalist strategies and their problems. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (7):21-34.   (Google)
Rosenberg, Alex (2001). On multiple realization: Comments and criticism and the special sciences. Journal of Philosophy XCVIII ( 7.   (Google)
Schroeter, Laura (2007). Illusion of transparency. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):597 – 618.   (Google)
Abstract: It's generally agreed that, for a certain a class of cases, a rational subject cannot be wrong in treating two elements of thought as co-referential. Even anti-individualists like Tyler Burge agree that empirical error is impossible in such cases. I argue that this immunity to empirical error is illusory and sketch a new anti-individualist approach to concepts that doesn't require such immunity
Schroeter, Laura (2008). Why be an anti-individualist? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):105-141.   (Google)
Abstract: Anti-individualists claim that concepts are individuated with an eye to purely external facts about a subject's environment about which she may be ignorant or mistaken. This paper offers a novel reason for thinking that anti-individualistic concepts are an ineliminable part of commonsense psychology. Our commitment to anti-individualism, I argue, is ultimately grounded in a rational epistemic agent's commitment to refining her own representational practices in the light of new and surprising information about her environment. Since anti-individualism is an implicit part of responsible epistemic practices, we cannot abandon it without compromising our own epistemic agency. The story I tell about the regulation of one's own representational practices yields a new account of the identity conditions for anti-individualistic concepts
Searle, John R. (1983). Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 1571 | Google | More links)
Abstract: John Searle's Speech Acts (1969) and Expression and Meaning (1979) developed a highly original and influential approach to the study of language. But behind both works lay the assumption that the philosophy of language is in the end a branch of the philosophy of the mind: speech acts are forms of human action and represent just one example of the mind's capacity to relate the human organism to the world. The present book is concerned with these biologically fundamental capacities, and, though third in the sequence, in effect it provides the philosophical foundations for the other two. Intentionality is taken to be the crucial mental phenomenon, and its analysis involves wide-ranging discussions of perception, action, causation, meaning, and reference. In all these areas John Searle has original and stimulating views. He ends with a resolution of the 'mind-body' problem
Shapiro, Lawrence A. (2005). Can psychology be a unified science? Philosophy of Science 72 (5):953-963.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Jaegwon Kim has argued that if psychological kinds are multiply realizable then no single psychological theory can describe regularities ranging over psychological states. Instead, psychology must be fractured, with human psychology covering states realized in the human way, martian psychology covering states realized in the martian way, and so on. I show that even if one accepts the principles that motivate Kim
Silvers, Stuart (2003). Individualism, internalism, and wide supervenience. In Maria J. Frapolli & E. Romero (eds.), Meaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and Mind. Csli.   (Google)
Sosa, Ernest (1993). Abilities, concepts, and externalism. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google)
Sosa, Ernest (1991). Between internalism and externalism. Philosophical Issues 1:179-195.   (Google | More links)
Stalnaker, Robert (1993). Twin earth revisited. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 63:297-311.   (Cited by 8 | Annotation | Google)
Stoneham, Tom (2003). Temporal externalism. Philosophical Papers 32 (1):97-107.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
van Brakel, Jaap (2005). On the inventors of XYZ. Foundations of Chemistry 7 (1):57-84.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I try to make as much sense aspossible of, first, the extensive philosophicalliterature concerned with the status of `Wateris H2O' and, second, the implications ofPutnam's invention of Twin Earth, anotherpossible world stipulated to be just like Earth, except that water is XYZ, notH2O
Wikforss, Asa Maria (2005). Naming natural kinds. Synthese 145 (1):65-87.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper discusses whether it can be known a priori that a particular term, such as water, is a natural kind term, and how this problem relates to Putnams claim that natural kind terms require an externalist semantics. Two conceptions of natural kind terms are contrasted: The first holds that whether water is a natural kind term depends on its a priori knowable semantic features. The second
Wilson, Robert A. (2002). Individualism. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Yalowitz, Steven (2002). Individualism, normativity, and the epistemology of understanding. Philosophical Studies 102 (1):43-92.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Zemach, Eddy M. (1976). Putnam's theory on the reference of substance terms. Journal of Philosophy 73 (March):116-27.   (Cited by 24 | Annotation | Google | More links)