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TELEOFUNCTIONALISM AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPLANATION

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Abstract:

Abstract:

Fred Dretske's teleofunctional theory of content aims to simultaneously solve two ground-floor philosophical puzzles about mental content: the problem of naturalism and the problem of epiphenomenalism. It is argued here that his theory fails on the latter score. Indeed, the theory insures that content can have no place in the causal explanation of action at all. The argument for this conclusion depends upon only very weak premises about the nature of causal explanation. The difficulties Dretske's theory encounters indicate the severe challenges involved in arriving at a robust naturalistic understanding of content.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0114.2006.00269.x

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy University of Chicago

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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