Teleosemantics and the Hard Problem of Content

Philosophical Psychology 35 (1):22-46 (2022)
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Hutto and Myin claim that teleosemantics cannot account for mental content. In their view, teleosemantics accounts for a poorer kind of relation between cognitive states and the world but lacks the theoretical tools to account for a richer kind. We show that their objection imposes two criteria on theories of content: a truth-evaluable criterion and an intensionality criterion. For the objection to go through, teleosemantics must be subject to both these criteria and must fail to satisfy them. We argue that teleosemantics meets the truth-evaluable criterion and is not required to meet the intensionality criterion. We conclude that Hutto and Myin’s objection fails.

Author Profiles

Stephen Francis Mann
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Ross Pain
University of Bristol


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