Applying the causal theory of reference to intentional concepts

Philosophy of Science 80 (2):212-230 (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
We argue that many recent philosophical discussions about the reference of everyday concepts of intentional states have implicitly been predicated on descriptive theories of reference. To rectify this, we attempt to demonstrate how a causal theory can be applied to intentional concepts. Specifically, we argue that some phenomena in early social de- velopment ðe.g., mimicry, gaze following, and emotional contagionÞ can serve as refer- ence fixers that enable children to track others’ intentional states and, thus, to refer to those states. This allows intentional concepts to be anchored to their referents, even if folk psy- chological descriptions turn out to be false.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2013-05-20
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
642 ( #6,470 of 53,644 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
53 ( #11,768 of 53,644 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.