Still unsuccessful: The unsolved problems of success semantics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Success semantics is a theory of content that characterizes the truth-conditions of mental representations in terms of the success-conditions of the actions derived from them. Nanay (Philos Stud 165(1): 151-165, 2013) and Dokic and Engel (Frank Ramsey London: Routledge, 2003) have revised this theory in order to defend it from the objections that assailed its previous incarnations. I argue that both proposals have seemingly decisive flaws. More specifically, these revised versions of the theory fail to deal adequately with the open-ended possibility of unforeseen obstacles for the success of our actions. I suggest that the problem of ignored obstacles undermines success semantics quite generally, including alternative formulations such as Blackburn's.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalTheoria (Spain)
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Frank Ramsey
  • Mental representation
  • Naturalistic theories of content
  • Success semantics
  • Teleosemantics

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