The nature of content: a critique of Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In their book, Narrow Content, Juhani Yli-Vakkuri and John Hawthorne attempt to argue against the claim that there is a kind of thought content which is both narrow and theoretically significant. However, their failure to distinguish indexical from non-indexical thought renders their arguments ineffective; a large class of the arguments they present are in fact irrelevant to the question of whether thought content is narrow. The unified treatment of thought content they advocate fails to capture the distinctively mental aspects of indexical thought, and the kinds of indexical examples to which they appeal can tell us nothing very interesting about mental states.

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Sarah Sawyer
University of Sussex

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