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The Good and the True$
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Michael Morris

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198239444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239444.001.0001

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What is a Theory of Content?

What is a Theory of Content?

Chapter:
(p.75) 6 What is a Theory of Content?
Source:
The Good and the True
Author(s):

Michael Morris

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198239444.003.0007

This chapter discusses the content of propositional attitudes. It also examines conceptual content and informational content. A reduction of the concepts of content must meet the condition of adequacy imposed by the knowledge constraint. A theory of content must explain how it is that the nature of concepts determines the nature of reality. It must be capable of generating a theory of knowledge; must generate the right substitution conditions for belief contexts; must explain what it is for words to be meaningful in the way they are; and must be extensional at base. A further consequence of the extensionality constraint is that we cannot give an atomistic account of word-meaning. We cannot explain word-meaning in terms of certain items being paired or associated with concepts, or with objects or properties.

Keywords:   theory of content, propositional attitudes, conceptual content, informational content, reduction, knowledge constraint, reality, substitution conditions, word-meaning

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