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Neo-Kantian intellectualism: a viable alternative

Corfield-Moore, A.L.; (2011) Neo-Kantian intellectualism: a viable alternative. Masters thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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In this thesis I address Tyler Burge's recent challenges to Strawson's and Evans' theories of 'mental representation'. I take 'mental representation' to be a subject's capacity to 'singularly represent' physical objects within mental content—for example, by having object-directed thought. While both Strawson and Evans take this capacity to be restricted to adult humans, believing that such thought requires high levels of cognitive development, Burge alleges that there is theoretical and scientific motivation to think that a (cognitively) less demanding theory is the correct account of mental representation. However despite Burges objections that both Strawson and Evans hyperintellectualise mental representation I argue that an 'intellectual-ism' based upon their discussions is not refuted by Burge's anti-intellectualist opposition. I argue that, while some objections to Strawson and Evans might be sound, they do not automatically refute an intellectualism based on the same principles and motivations. Moreover, though such an intellectualist theory will need to justify its demanding conditions in the face of Burge's less-demanding—and scientifically motivated—anti-intellectualism, I argue that nothing Burge has claimed so far shows that such a theory should be dismissed. In conclusion then I argue that a distinctly 'neo-Kantian' intellectualism can be seen to be a viable, alternative theory and can prolong a debate with Burge over the nature of mental representation.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Neo-Kantian intellectualism: a viable alternative
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from this thesis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1336535
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