Meaning and Other Non-Biological Categories
In this paper I display a general metaphysical assumption that characterizes basic naturalistic views and that is inherited, in a residual form, by their leading teleological rivals. The assumption is that intentional states require identifiable inner vehicles and that to explain intentional properties we must develop accounts that bind specific contents to specific vehicles. I show that this assumption is deeply rooted in representationalist and reductionist theories of content and I argue that it is deeply inappropriate. I sketch the main features of plausible alternatives: such alternatives are either anti-representationalist (Dynamical Systems' models) or anti-reductionist (institution-based approaches), and are not committed to any such metaphysical premise.