The Linguistic Determination of Conscious Thought Contents

Noûs (3):737-759 (2017)
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Abstract
In this paper we address the question of what determines the content of our conscious episodes of thinking, considering recent claims that phenomenal character individuates thought contents. We present one prominent way for defenders of phenomenal intentionality to develop that view and then examine ‘sensory inner speech views’, which provide an alternative way of accounting for thought-content determinacy. We argue that such views fare well with inner speech thinking but have problems accounting for unsymbolized thinking. Within this dialectic, we present an account of the nature of unsymbolized thinking that accords with and can be seen as a continuation of the activity of inner speech, while offering a way of explaining thought-content determinacy in terms of linguistic structures and representations
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