Philosophy of mind



The issue whether intentionality can be naturalized divides into whether intentionality has physical causes and whether it has physical effects. The leading recipe for naturalizing intentionality starts with natural meaning: smoke naturally means fire (or carries information about fire) because unless a fire had caused it, smoke would not occur. Linguistic and mental representations have non-natural meaning because a speaker can mistakenly or misleadingly utter a token of the word ‘fire’ and thereby cause an addressee to entertain a thought about fire even if neither the utterance nor the thought were directly caused by a fire. To fill the gap between natural and non-natural signs, non-natural signs have been taken to have a function. It is the function of either the word ‘fire’ or the concept it expresses to carry information about fires. Since something may fail to fulfill its function, the tokening of either the word ‘fire’ or the concept expressed may occur even if no fire directly caused it. Ontological physicalists assume that natural and non-natural signs, whether mental or linguistic, are physical items with intrinsic physical properties. For example, a sound emitted by a Soprano could not display its non-natural meaning unless it also exhibited its intrinsic acoustic properties. Clearly, the sound emitted by the Soprano can causally affect someone else’s auditory experience. If so, then the intrinsic acoustic properties of the sound are causally efficacious in the process whereby the hearer’s eardrum is caused to vibrate. But the question arises: could the non-natural meaning of the sound be causally efficacious in this process? If not, then although the naturalistic recipe sheds some light on the physical causes of intentionality, it leaves us wondering how intentionality can have physical effects. Several papers in this section are devoted to this puzzle. 



(1983) Faut-il parler le ''mentalais' pour penser ? Critique, 39, 437, 774-795.

(1983) Remarques sur la thèse de l'Identité et les états mentaux. Psychiatrie de l'enfant, Vol 26(1), 159-191.

(1987) Thoughts and Belief Ascriptions. Mind & Language, 2, 4, 301–325.

(1991) Are Mental Properties Causally Efficacious? Grazer Philosophische Studien - International Journal for Analytic Philosophy, 39, 51-73. 

(1991) Review of: Mental Content by Colin McGinn. The Journal of Philosophy, LXXXVIII, 12, 723-728.

(1992) Patterns, Causalité Mentale et Lois Intentionnelles. Les Etudes Philosophiques, 3, 391-413.

(1992) Externalism and Mental Causation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 92, 203-219.

(1992/2004) Le problème du rapport du corps et de l'esprit aujourd'hui. In D. Andler (ed.) Introduction aux sciences cognitives. Paris : Gallimard, Nouvelle édition. Collection (n° 179), pp. 409-447.

(1993) Externalism and the Explanatory Relevance of Broad Content. Mind & Language, 8, 1, 131-156.

(1993) Sens commun, psychologie cognitive et philosophie de la psychologie : croyances, matérialisme et externalisme. L'année Psychologique, 93, 1, 59-83.

(1995) Consciousness, Intentionality and Function. What is the right order of explanation? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, LV, 1, 195-200.

(1995) Can semantic properties be non-causal (Comments on Fodor's "Concepts - a Tutorial Essay")? SOFIA Conference on Content, 21-24 May, 1994, Lisbon, Portugal.

(1996) Review of Jerry Fodor's The Elm and the expert. European Journal of Philosophy, 4, 3, 373-378.

(1998) What can the semantic properties of innate representations explain? In Jan Bransen & Stefaan E. Cuypers (eds.), Human Action, Deliberation and Causation, Philosophical Studies, Series 77, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 175-197.


(1998) Memory, learning and metacognition. Mémoire, apprentissage et métacognition. Comptes rendus de l'Académie des sciences. Série 3, Sciences de la vie, 321, 2-3, pp. 253-259.

(1998) State consciousness revisited. In D. Fisette (ed.) Consciousness and Intentionality: Models and Modalities of Attribution , Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 9-32.

(1998) What Is the Phenomenology of Thought? Mental Reality by Galen Strawson. Review by: Pierre Jacob. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 58, 2, 443-448.

(2000) Is meaning intrinsically normative? Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie

(2001) To be or not to be in Descartes' shadow. Descartes, Wittgenstein et le cours de la philosophie analytique. Unpublished

(2002) Normes, communauté et intentionnalité. Revue européenne des Sciences sociales, XL, 124, 27-38.

(2002) Can Mental Content Explain Behavior. In A.M. Galaburda, S.M. Kosslyn and Y. Christen (eds) The Languages of the Brain. Harvard University Press, pp. 91-101.

(2002) Some Problems for Reductive Physicalism. Mind in a Physical World by Jaegwon Kim. Review by Pierre Jacob. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 65, 3, 648-654.

(2002) Review of Mark Rowlands' The Body in Mind, Understanding Cognitive Processes by Mark Rowland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Studies in Philosophy, 1999, pp. 270.The Body in Mind (CUP, 1999). Mind in Language, 17, 3, pp. 325-331.

(2003) Les sciences cognitives. In M. Blay (dir.) Grand Dictionnaire de Philosophie. Paris : Larousse, CNRS Editions, pp. 148-151.

(2003) Esprit et Cerveau. In M. Blay (dir.) Grand Dictionnaire de Philosophie. Paris: Larousse, CNRS Editions, pp. 364-366.

(2003) Intentionality. Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.

(2004) Do we know how we know our own minds yet? In Richard Schantz (ed.) The Externalist Challenge, De Gruyter.

(2005) Recognitional concepts and conceptual combination. In Werning, M., Machery, E. & Schurz (eds.) The Compositionality of Meaning and Content, Ontos Verlag.

(2007) Précis de l'Intentionnalité, problèmes de philosophie de l'esprit. Philosophiques, 34, 1, 153-158.

(2012) Embodying the mind by extending it. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 3, 1, 33-51.

(2015) Assessing radical embodiment. In Coello, Y. & Fischer, M. (eds.) Foundations of Embodied Cognition—Perceptual and Emotional Embodiment