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The Metaphysics of Knowledge$
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Keith Hossack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206728

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206728.001.0001

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Concept and Content

Concept and Content

Chapter:
(p.100) 3 Concept and Content
Source:
The Metaphysics of Knowledge
Author(s):

Keith Hossack (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206728.003.0003

This chapter develops a knowledge-based account, according to which a content is a mode of presentation of a fact (which fact, of course, need not exist). The discussion proceeds as follows. Section 1 presents a theory of mental acts. Section 2 suggests that some mental acts are apprehendings, which is to say that they non-mediately cause one to acquire knowledge. Section 3 defines the content of a mental act by the contribution it makes to apprehending, i.e., to the getting of knowledge. Section 4 defines concepts as powers of the mind to be the subject of mental acts with a certain range of contents. Section 5 defines reference, and deduces Russell's ‘Principle of Acquaintance’. Section 6 gives further argument for the Principle of Acquaintance, in the context of the epistemology of definitions. Section 7 notes connections between content, truth, and language.

Keywords:   mental acts, facts, knowledge, reference, Russell, Principle pf Acquaintance, thought, language

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