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

2.3b. Asymmetric-Dependence Accounts of Mental Content (Asymmetric-Dependence Accounts of Mental Content on PhilPapers)

See also:
Adams, Frederick R. & Aizawa, Kenneth (1997). Fodor's asymmetric causal dependency theory and proximal projections. Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):433-437.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Adams, Frederick R. (online). Fodor's asymmetrical causal dependency theory of meaning.   (Google)
Adams, Frederick & Aizawa, Kenneth (1994). Fodorian Semantics. In Steven Stich & Ted Warfield (eds.), Mental Representation. Blackwell.   (Google)
Adams, Frederick R. & Aizawa, Kenneth (1993). Fodorian semantics, pathologies, and "Block's problem". Minds and Machines 3 (1):97-104.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Adams, Frederick R. & Aizawa, Kenneth (1992). 'X' means X: Semantics Fodor-style. Minds and Machines 2 (2):175-83.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Adams, Frederick R. & Aizawa, Kenneth (1994). 'X' means X: Fodor/warfield semantics. Minds and Machines 4 (2):215-31.   (Google | More links)
Antony, Louise M. & Levine, Joseph (1991). The nomic and the robust. In Barry M. Loewer & Georges Rey (eds.), Meaning in Mind: Fodor and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Bernier, Paul (1993). Narrow content, context of thought, and asymmetric dependence. Mind and Language 8 (3):327-42.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Bickhard, Mark H. (1998). A Process Model of the Emergence of Representation. In G.L. Farre & T. Oksala (eds.), Emergence, Complexity, Hierarchy, Organization, Selected and Edited Papers From the ECHO III Conference. Acta Polytechnica Scandinavica.   (Cited by 20 | Google)
Abstract: Two challenges to the very possibility of emergence are addressed, one metaphysical and one logical. The resolution of the metaphysical challenge requires a shift to a process metaphysics, while the logical challenge highlights normative emergence, and requires a shift to more powerful logical tools -- in particular, that of implicit definition. Within the framework of a process metaphysics, two levels of normative emergence are outlined: that of function and that of representation
Boghossian, Paul A. (1991). Naturalizing content. In Barry M. Loewer & Georges Rey (eds.), Meaning in Mind: Fodor and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 20 | Annotation | Google)
Cain, M. J. (1999). Fodor's attempt to naturalize mental content. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (197):520-26.   (Google | More links)
Cram, H-R. (1992). Fodor's causal theory of representation. Philosophical Quarterly 42 (166):56-70.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Fish, William C. (2000). Asymmetry in action. Ratio 13 (2):138-145.   (Google | More links)
Fodor, Jerry A. (1990). A theory of content II. In Jerry A. Fodor (ed.), A Theory of Content. MIT Press.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google)
Fodor, Jerry A. (1987). Meaning and the world order. In Psychosemantics. MIT Press.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google)
Gibson, Martha I. (1996). Asymmetric dependencies, ideal conditions, and meaning. Philosophical Psychology 9 (2):235-59.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: Jerry Fodor has proposed a causal theory of meaning based on the notion of a certain asymmetric dependency between the causes of a symbol's tokens. This theory is held to be an improvement on Dennis Stampe's causal theory of meaning and Fred Dretske's information theoretic account, because it allegedly solves what Fodor calls the “disjunction problem”, and does so without recourse to the kind of optimal (ideal) conditions to which Stampe and Dretske appeal. A series of counterexamples is proposed to Fodor's account, which, it is argued, can only be met by reintroducing that same appeal to optimal conditions that he had sought to eliminate. It is then argued that Fodor's notion of asymmetric dependence is not fundamental to the explanation of why a symbol means what it does: on the contrary, the symbol's meaning what it does is explanatorily prior to the obtaining of the asymmetry, so the asymmetry cannot be used to explain the symbol's meaning. Finally, it is argued that the “disjunction problem “ as it is defined by Fodor is not a genuine problem for causal theories of meaning
Gillett, Carl (2006). Samuel Alexander's emergentism. Synthese 153 (2):261-296.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Samuel Alexander was one of the foremost philosophical figures of his day and has been argued by John Passmore to be one of ‘fathers’ of Australian philosophy as well as a novel kind of physicalist. Yet Alexander is now relatively neglected, his role in the genesis of Australian philosophy if far from widely accepted and the standard interpretation takes him to be an anti-physicalist. In this paper, I carefully examine these issues and show that Alexander has been badly, although understandably, misjudged by most of his contemporary critics and interpreters. Most importantly, I show that Alexander offers an ingenious, and highly original, version of physicalism at the heart of which is a strikingly different view of the nature of the microphysical properties and associated view of emergent properties. My final conclusion will be that Passmore is correct in his claims both that Alexander is significant as one of the grandfather’s of Australian philosophy and that he provides a novel physicalist position. I will also suggest that Alexander’s emergentism is important for addressing the so-called ‘problem of mental causation’ presently dogging contemporary non-reductive physicalists
Gomila, Antoni (1994). Punctuate minds and Fodor's theory of content. In Analyomen 1. Hawthorne: De Gruyter.   (Google)
Jones, Todd (1991). Staving off catastrophe: A critical notice of Jerry Fodor's psychosemantics. Mind and Language 6:58-82.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Jylkkä, Jussi (2009). Why Fodor's theory of concepts fails. Minds and Machines 19 (1):25-46.   (Google)
Abstract: Fodor’s theory of concepts holds that the psychological capacities, beliefs or intentions which determine how we use concepts do not determine reference. Instead, causal relations of a specific kind between properties and our dispositions to token a concept are claimed to do so. Fodor does admit that there needs to be some psychological mechanisms mediating the property–concept tokening relations, but argues that they are purely accidental for reference. In contrast, I argue that the actual mechanisms that sustain the reference determining concept tokening relations are necessary for reference. Fodor’s atomism is thus undermined, since in order to refer with a concept it is necessary to possess some specific psychological capacities
Livingston, Kenneth R. (1993). What Fodor means: Some thoughts on reading Jerry Fodor's A Theory of Content and Other Essays. Philosophical Psychology 6 (3):289-301.   (Google)
Abstract: Jerry Fodor's Asymmetric Dependency Theory (ADT) of meaning is discussed in the context of his attempt to avoid holism and the relativism it entails. Questions are raised about the implications of the theory for psychological theories of meaning, and brief suggestions are offered for how to more closely link a theory of meaning to a theory of perception
Loar, Brian (1991). Can we explain intentionality? In Barry M. Loewer & Georges Rey (eds.), Meaning in Mind: Fodor and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Maloney, J. Christopher (1990). Mental misrepresentation. Philosophy of Science 57 (September):445-58.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Manfredi, Pat A. & Summerfield, Donna M. (1992). Robustness without asymmetry: A flaw in Fodor's theory of content. Philosophical Studies 66 (3):261-83.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Mariano, Luciano B. (1999). Content naturalized. Philosophical Studies 96 (2):205-38.   (Google | More links)
Mendola, Joseph (2003). A dilemma for asymmetric dependence. Noûs 37 (2):232-257.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Accounts of mental content rooted in asymmetric dependence hold, crudely speaking, that the content of a mental representation is the cause of that representation on which all its other causes depend.1 To speak somewhat less crudely, such accounts, hereafter
Meyering, Theo C. (1997). Fodor's information semantics between naturalism and mentalism. Inquiry 40 (2):187-207.   (Google | More links)
Myin, Erik (1993). Some problems for Fodor's theory of content. Philosophica 50 (2):101-122.   (Google)
Palmquist, Steve (1992). Unknown. Indian Philosophical Quarterly 19.   (Google)
Abstract: At what stage in its development does a foetus become a living human being? When is it proper to refer to a network of pulsating neurons as a
Baker, Lynne Rudder (1991). Has content been naturalized? In Barry M. Loewer & Georges Rey (eds.), Meaning in Mind: Fodor and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 18 | Google)
Baker, Lynne Rudder (1989). On a causal theory of content. Philosophical Perspectives 3:165-186.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Rupert, Robert D. (2000). Dispositions indisposed: Semantic atomism and Fodor's theory of content. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (3):325-349.   (Google | More links)
Seager, William E. (1993). Fodor's theory of content: Problems and objections. Phiosophy of Science 60 (2):262-77.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Tolliver, Joseph T. (1988). Disjunctivitis. Mind and Language 3:64-70.   (Google)
Voltolini, Alberto (1995). Is meaning without actually existing reference naturalizable? Grazer Philosophische Studien 50:397-414.   (Google)
Abstract: As is well known, meaningful expressions denoting no actual entity represent a hard problem for any naturalistically inspired theory of meaning which tries to explain the expression's meaning in terms of the expression's cause. For, since the actual extension of one such expression is ex hypothesi empty, there is no actual candidate for the role of the expression's cause one can plausibly appeal to in order to assign it to the expression as its meaning. Faced with this problem, a naturalizer may be immediately tempted to claim that there are no lexically primitive extensionless expressions. Thus, for any expression whose extension is actually empty she can attempt to paraphrase it away along the well-honoured Russellian path. Although reluctantly, in his A Theory of Content (1990) Jerry Fodor has however argued that a naturalizer can resist the above temptation. Fodor indeed provides another naturalized informational theory of meaning for Mentalese expressions based on the notion of asymmetric dependence between causal relations. This theory is also basically a denotational theory of meaning, for according to it a lexically primitive expression means the entity it denotes. On the basis of this theory, he claims that the problem of the lexically primitive extensionless expressions can be solved while letting them run denotationally. In what follows, however, I will try to cast some doubts on Fodor's solution of the lexically primitive extensionless expressions without at the same time falling back in the Russellian trap. If there are lexically primitive expressions whose extension in the actual world is empty, their meaning can be still accounted for in terms which are both denotational and non-naturalistic. Suffice it that one appeals to the weak Meinongianism contained in the thesis that one can directly refer to possible but unactual entities by means of a suitable fixing-reference description
Wallis, Charles (1995). Asymmetric dependence, representation, and cognitive science. Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):373-401.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Warfield, Ted A. (1994). Fodorian semantics: A reply to Adams and Aizawa. Minds and Machines 4 (2):205-14.   (Google | More links)