08 Mar Les fichiers mentaux : le point de vue d’un philosophe
International Convention of Psychological Science 2019,
Palais des congrès de Paris, 7-9 Mars 2019
Symposium “The Mental Files Approach and Its Interpretation for Empirical Findings”
Mental Files: A Philosopher’s Perspective
This talk will provide an opinionated overview of the theory of mental files, as it has been developed by philosophers (e.g., Strawson 1974, Perry 1980, Recanati 2012), and more recently elaborated and refined by experimental cognitive scientists (e.g., Perner, Huemer & Leahy 2015). Mental files are representations whose dual function is to pick out particular individuals (reference/individuation), and to collect information about their properties (predication). Core tenets of the theory include the distinction between singular and descriptive ways of thinking about individuals, the existence of several varieties of co-representation, and the usefulness of files for accounting for opacity/intensionality phenomena. While many of these ideas have been usefully taken up by cognitive scientists, the talk will point out aspects of mental files theory that remain empirically underexplored, including the issue of whether or not mental files form a cohesive, unified category.