- A view about how thoughts and words get their meanings.
- What is it for words to refer or for sentences to have meaning? We
intend terms to refer to certain things and sentences to mean certain
This moves the problem back.
- What is it for our thoughts to refer to things and to be meaningful?
An answer that relies on how mental states refer or mean things
- Words and sentences have ‘intentionality’, and so do concepts and
- Intentionality: Aboutness.
- In Descartes’ terms, they have presentational reality.
- Semantic externalism offers a picture of how our thoughts represent,
and some take this picture (…)
- Some states have content
Ex: BIV. Such states have intentionality. They ‘refer/state’
- It is common to divide mental states into two broad categories:
1. Intentional states (beliefs and desires; have propositional
2. Sensations (feelings aren’t about anything in the same way
yet caused by something. They cannot be T/F.)
- Intentional states are sometimes referred to as ‘propositio