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Title: Narrow content in the philosophy of mind
Author: Davies, Mark
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2009
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My thesis examines the notion of narrow content in the philosophy of mind. Narrowcontent is defined as a type of mental state that is shared between internal physicalduplicates in Twin Earth-type thought experiments. In these thought experiments,changes in the physical and/or social environments of the duplicates are usually takento have the result that the contents of certain of the duplicates’ mental states, e.g.,beliefs, etc., are different. The upshot of this is that intemalism with regards tomental content seems to be refuted, as the duplicates concerned share an identity ofinternal physical properties, then if intemalism about mental content is true, theirmental states should also be content-identical. However, despite this possibility, itseems to me that there is still a strong intuition that the duplicates in these TwinEarth-type situations do share type-identical mental states which can be individuatedby the states’ narrow content. The aim of the thesis is to examine several of the mostpopular construals of narrow content in the literature, to ascertain whether there is aconstrual that provides an adequate narrow content. To help with this task I suggestthree conditions of adequacy that a narrow content must satisfy in order to beconsidered adequate. I then choose my favoured construal and give a version of itwhich will hopefully be seen as an improvement on the other construals (by satisfyingall the adequacy conditions). It will be argued that my version of the narrow contentconstrual will provide, not just an adequate narrow content, at least in relation to asubject’s perceptual experience, but perhaps also necessary and sufficient conditionsfor a mental state, such as a perceptual belief, to have the specific content that it has.
Supervisor: Cooke, Steven Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available