Flaws of Formal Relationism

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):367-376 (2013)
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Abstract
Formal relationism in the philosophy of mind is the thesis that folk psychological states should be individuated, at least partially, in terms of the purely formal inference-licensing relations between underlying mental representations. It's supposed to provide a Russellian alternative to a Fregean theory of propositional attitudes. I argue that there's an inconsistency between the motivation for formal relationism and the use to which it's put in defense of Russellian propositions. Furthermore, I argue that formal relationism is committed to epiphenomenalism about singular mental content.
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