Single Idea 16278

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / c. Meaning by Role]

Full Idea

Anything that is a thinker at all has a thought with a certain content in virtue of being in a state which occupies a certain functional role.

Gist of Idea

A particular functional role is what gives content to a thought


David Lewis (On the Plurality of Worlds [1986], 2.3)

Book Reference

Lewis,David: 'On the Plurality of Worlds' [Blackwell 2001], p.106

A Reaction

So often Lewis seems to get things the wrong way round. Maybe if you invert his entire (fabulously consistent) philosophy, you get the right answer? I take the content to be what makes the role possible.