Title

Content individuation and evolutionary content emergence

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Comparative Philosophy

Publication Date

1-30-2017

Volume

8

Issue

1

First Page

129

Last Page

132

Publisher

San Jose State University

Keywords

content individuation, content realization, holistic discursive practice, extended Connection Principle

Abstract

This short paper addresses two connected issues which were brought to some focused light by Searle’s comments on my contributed article to the anthology Searle’s philosophy and Chinese Philosophy: Constructive Engagement. The first issue concerns the claim that animals cannot have observer-independent intentional content of the same type as that of human beings. The second is my denial that mental content can be merely caused in specific brain states, given its holistic and normative character. I defend my position on the second issue by distinguishing content individuation from content realization while I elaborate my relatively more sophisticated argument for the first claim by clarifying two related senses or levels of ‘content’ and ‘self’, respectively associated with certain quasi-rational capacities from a third-person perspective and the subjective holistic consciousness from a firstperson perspective with the explicit social-discursive dimension. Searle’s Connection Principle is briefly drawn on in this context, with an eye to showing its potential significance when it is extended into the evolutionary settings. In short, it is the fullblown rationality of human holistic discursive practice that ultimately grounds the content talk, which then becomes meaningfully ascribable to certain natural forms of animal existence.

E-ISSN

21516014

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2017 San Jose State University. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Zheng, Y. (2017). Content individuation and evolutionary content emergence. Comparative Philosophy, 8(1), 129-132. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/comparativephilosophy/vol8/iss1/13/

Share

COinS