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Teleological Theories of Mental Content

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[Revised entry by Peter Schulte and Karen Neander on May 26, 2022.
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html]
Consider, for example, the thought that blossoms are forming. On a representational theory of thought, this involves a representation of blossoms forming. A theory of mental content aims to tell us, among other things, why this representation has this content, and so why it is a thought about blossoms forming, rather than about the sun shining, pigs flying, or nothing at all. In general, a theory of mental content tries to explain why mental states, events or processes (or, assuming a representational theory of them, the mental…

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