more from Daniel Dennett

Single Idea 3795

[catalogued under 13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 2. Causal Justification]

Full Idea

In causal theories of knowledge and reference, the causal chain between object and thought must be of the "right" sort - the nature of rightness to be specified later, typically.

Gist of Idea

Causal theories require the "right" sort of link (usually unspecified)

Source

Daniel Dennett (Elbow Room: varieties of free will [1984], 3.3 n14)

Book Reference

Dennett,Daniel: 'Elbow Room - Free will worth wanting' [MIT 1999], p.58


A Reaction

This is now the standard objection to a purely causal account of reference. Which of the many causal chains causes the meaning? Knowledge of maths is a further problem for it.