Fregean Equivocation and Ramsification on Sparse Theories: Response to McCullagh
Bealer (George)
Source: Mind and Language 15(5): 500-510
Paper - Abstract

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Philosophers Index Abstract

    The paper, which begins with a brief summary of the Self-conscious Argument, developed in the author's paper "Self-consciousness1." (This argument is designed to refute the extant versions of functionalism--American functionalism, Australian functionalism, and language-of-thought functionalism.) After this summary is given, two theses are defended. The first is that the Self-consciousness2 Argument is not guilty of a Fregean equivocation regarding embedded occurrences of mental predicates, as has been suggested by many commentators, including Mark McCullagh. The second thesis is that the Self-consciousness3 Argument cannot be avoided by weakening the psychological theory upon which Ramsified functional definitions are based. Specifically, it does no good to excise psychological principles involving embedded mental predicates. Why? Because functional definitions based on the resulting sparse theories are exposed to an interesting new family of counterexamples.

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