Has Fodor Really Changed His Mind on Narrow Content?

Mind and Language 12 (3-4):422-458 (1997)
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In The Elm and the Expert (1994), Fodor rejects the notion of narrow content as superfluous. He envisions a scientific intentional psychology that adverts only to broad content properties in its explanations. I show that there has been no change in Fodor's treatment of Frege cases and cases involving the so‐called deferential concepts. And for good reason: his notion of narrow content (1985‐91) couldn't explain them. The only apparent change concerns his treatment of Twin Earth cases. However, I argue that the notion of broad content that his purely informational semantics delivers is, in some interesting sense, equivalent to the mapping notion of narrow content he officially gave up. I also critically reconstruct the evolution of Fodor's thinking between 1980 and 1994.

Author's Profile

Murat Aydede
University of British Columbia


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