Fregean equivocation and ramsification on sparse theories: Response to McCullagh

Mind and Language 15 (5):500-510 (2000)
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Abstract
This paper begins with a brief summary of the Self-consciousness Argument, developed in the author’s paper “Self-consciousness.” (This argument is designed to refute the extant versions of functionalism -- American functionalism, Australian functionalism, and language-of-thought functionalism.) After this summary is given, two thesis are defended. The first is that the Self-consciousness Argument is not guilty of a Fregean equivocation regarding embedded occurrences of mental predicates, as has been suggested by many commentators, including Mark McCullagh. The second thesis is that the Self-consciousness Argument cannot be avoided by weakening the psychological theory upon which Ramsified functional definitions are based. Specifically, it does no good to excise psychological principles involving embedded mental predicates. Why? Because functional definitions based on the resulting sparse theories are exposed to an interesting new family of counterexamples.
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European Functionalism.Rosenkranz, Sven

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