Mental filing

Noûs 56 (1):204-226 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


We offer an interpretation of the mental files framework that eliminates the metaphor of files, information being contained in files, etc. The guiding question is whether, once we move beyond the metaphors, there is any theoretical role for files. We claim not. We replace the file-metaphor with two theses: the semantic thesis that there are irreducibly relational representational facts (viz. facts about the coordination of representations); and the metasemantic thesis that processes tied to information-relations ground those facts. In its canonical statement, the ‘file’-theory makes reference to a certain kind of relational representational feature, and a certain kind of mental activity. Mental files need not come into it. In short, we posit mental filing without mental files. Our interpretation avoids awkward problems that arise on the standard interpretation and clarifies the explanatory commitments of the theory.

Author Profiles

Rachel Goodman
University of Chicago (PhD)
Aidan Gray
University of Illinois, Chicago


Added to PP

596 (#25,657)

6 months
123 (#27,140)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?