Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Block, Ned
Books on Amazon
Content Fodor IV 172
Narrow Content/Fodor/LeporeVsBlock: the idea that narrow meanings are conceptual roles throws no light on the distinction of meaning/reference.
A semantic theory should not only be able to determine the identity of meaning, but also provide a canonical form that can answer questions about the meaning of expressions.
If the latter succeeds, it is not entirely clear whether the first must succeed.
Categories/Block: he himself says that most empirical taxonomies do not provide sufficient and necessary conditions for the application of their own categories.
Narrow Content/Categories/Twin Earth/Block/Fodor/LeporeVsBlock: Problem: how narrow contents can be expressed.
E.g. if the mental states of the twins ipso facto share their contents, what then is the content that they share? It cannot be determined by what both share, namely the use of "water is wet": for that expresses the narrow proposition that water is wet.
What then are the truth conditions?
IV 173
Wide Meaning/Block: may be better suited to explain behavior. ((s) not only meaning in mind but also the circumstances).
Circumstances/Twin Earth/Wide Content/(s): Problem: if the circumstances consist in that once H2O and once XYZ is effective, the circumstances are something that the individual is unable to recognize. I.e. we do not know in which circumstances we are or which circumstances are given, since you cannot hold both situations up to one another.)
Fodor/Lepore: ... but only as far as there are nomological relations between world and belief.
Psychological laws: if there are psychological laws, then there are ipso facto generalizations that work with wide, but not with narrow content. Fodor/Lepore pro.
Fodor/LeporeVsBlock: but it misses the main point: some of these psychological laws would then be fixed with regard to intentional content:
IV 174
"Ceteris paribus, if someone believes this and that and wants this and that, then he will act in this and that way".
Problem: there is then an appeal to these intentional laws and not to the non-contingent connections between mind and behavior, which supposedly define the functional definitions of the content. And these intentional laws are then supposed to support the psychological explanations.

Block I
N. Block
Consciousness, Function, and Representation: Collected Papers, Volume 1 (Bradford Books) Cambridge 2007

J. Fodor/E. Lepore
Holism Cambridge USA Oxford UK 1992

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-24