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2.3c. Causal Accounts of Mental Content, Misc (Causal Accounts of Mental Content, Misc on PhilPapers)

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Adams, Fred & Aizawa, Ken (online). Causal theories of mental content. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: Causal theories of mental content attempt to explain how thoughts can be about things. They attempt to explain how one can think about, for example, dogs. These theories begin with the idea that there are mental representations and that thoughts are meaningful in virtue of a causal connection between a mental representation and some part of the world that is represented. In other words, the point of departure for these theories is that thoughts of dogs are about dogs because dogs cause the mental representations of dogs
Aizawa, Kenneth (1994). Lloyd's dialectical theory of representation. Mind and Language 9 (1):1-24.   (Google | More links)
Buras, Todd (2009). An Argument against Causal Theories of Mental Content. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):117-129.   (Google)
Abstract: Some mental states are about themselves. Nothing is a cause of itself. So some mental states are not about their causes; they are about things distinct from their causes. If this argument is sound, it spells trouble for causal theories of mental content—the precise sort of trouble depending on the precise sort of causal theory. This paper shows that the argument is sound (§§1-3), and then spells out the trouble (§4).
Cummins, Robert E. (1989). Representation and covariation. In Stuart Silvers (ed.), ReRepresentation. Kluwer.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Cummins, Robert E. (1997). The LOT of the causal theory of mental content. Journal of Philosophy 94 (10):535-542.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: hc thcsis of this paper is that thc causal themy of mental cantent (hcrcaftcr CT) is incompatible with an clcmcntary fact of pcrccptual psychology, namely, that thc detection 0f distal propcrtics generally requires thc mediation of a “the- 0ry.” I shall call this fact thc nontransducibility of distal properties (hcrcaftcr NTDP). The argument proceeds in two stages. Thc burden of stage 0nc is that, taken together, CT and thc language 0f thought hypothesis (hcrcaftcr LOT) arc incompatible with NTDP. The burden of stage two is that acceptance of CT rcquircs acceptance of LOT as well. It follows that CT is incompatiblc with NTDP. I organize things in this way in part bccausc it makcs the argument casicr t0 understand, and in part bccausc thc stage-two thcsis—that CT cntails LOT—has somc independcnt interest and is thcrcforc worth separating from thc rcst 0f thc argument. 1. STAGE ONE; THE CONJUNCTION OF CT AND LOT Is INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE NONTRANSDUCIBILITY OF DISTAL PROPERTIES Let us begin by clarifying some tcrms. By LOT, I mean the hypothesis that thc human schcmc 0f mental rcprcscmation satisfies the following conditions: (1) It has a finite number of semantically primitive expressions individuatcd syntactically
Fodor, Jerry A. (1990). Information and representation. In Philip P. Hanson (ed.), Information, Language and Cognition. University of British Columbia Press.   (Cited by 43 | Google)
Fodor, Jerry A. (1984). Semantics, wisconsin style. Synthese 59 (June):231-50.   (Cited by 51 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Franklin, James, Symbolic connectionism in natural language disambiguation.   (Google)
Abstract: language into these formalisms. However, they make use of only small subsets of knowledge. This article will describe how to..
Godfrey-Smith, Peter (1989). Misinformation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):533-50.   (Cited by 51 | Annotation | Google)
Godfrey-Smith, Peter (1991). Signal, decision, action. Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):709-22.   (Cited by 19 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Hogan, Melinda (1994). What is wrong with an atomistic account of mental representation. Synthese 100 (2):307-27.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Jacquette, Dale (1996). Lloyd on intrinsic natural representation in simple mechanical minds. Minds and Machines 6 (1):47-60.   (Google | More links)
Maloney, J. Christopher (1994). Content: Covariation, control, and contingency. Synthese 100 (2):241-90.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
McLaughlin, Brian P. (1987). What is wrong with correlational psychosemantics. Synthese 70 (February):271-286.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Ray, Greg (1997). Fodor and the inscrutability problem. Mind and Language 12 (3-4):475-89.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Baker, Lynne Rudder (2004). Rejoinder to Zimmerman. In Michael Peterson (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell.   (Google)
Rupert, Robert D. (2001). Coining terms in the language of thought: Innateness, emergence, and the lot of Cummins's argument against the causal theory of mental content. Journal of Philosophy 98 (10):499-530.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Robert Cummins argues that any causal theory of mental content (CT) founders on an established fact of human psychology: that theory mediates sensory detection. He concludes,
Rupert, Robert (2008). Causal theories of mental content. Philosophy Compass 3 (2):353–380.   (Google | More links)
Rupert, Robert D. (forthcoming). Causal Theories of Intentionality. In Hal Pashler (ed.), The Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage.   (Google)
Stampe, Dennis W. (1990). Content, context, and explanation. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Information, Semantics, and Epistemology. Blackwell.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Stampe, Dennis W. (1977). Towards a causal theory of linguistic representation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2:42-63.   (Cited by 86 | Google)
Stampe, Dennis W. (1986). Verificationism and a causal account of meaning. Synthese 69 (October):107-37.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Viger, Christopher D. (2001). Locking on to the language of thought. Philosophical Psychology 14 (2):203-215.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I demonstrate that locking on, a key notion in Jerry Fodor's most recent theory of content, supplemented informational atomism (SIA), is cashed out in terms of asymmetric dependence, the central notion in his earlier theory of content. I use this result to argue that SIA is incompatible with the language of thought hypothesis because the constraints on the causal relations into which symbols can enter imposed by the theory of content preclude the causal relations needed between symbols for them to serve as the elements of the medium of thought
Warmbrod, Ken (1992). Primitive representation and misrepresentation. Topoi 11 (1):89-101.   (Google)
Weitzman, Leora (1996). What makes a causal theory of content anti-skeptical? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2):299-318.   (Google | More links)