Liz, Manuel
 Incorporated contributions
Liz (8/11/09)
 Usage domain
semantics, mind
 German Inhalt

In many contexts, the term “content” is synonymous with “meaning”. There is content where it is possible to make semantic evaluations consisting in the attribution of properties like reference, connotation, sense, truth, etc. The three sorts of entities with the capacity to bear content are certain mental states (beliefs, desires, intentions, decisions, etc.), linguistic entities (words, sentences, texts, etc.), and actions (and their results). In addition, a very important and widespread thesis, due to Paul Grice, is that linguistic entities and actions have content only because they are the outcome of certain mental states having content.

There is however another sense of the term “content” when it is applied to mental states. According to that second sense, mental states could have two different kinds of contents. They may have a conceptual content or a non-conceptual one. Non-conceptual content would be the experiential, qualitative or phenomenological content present in some mental states like sensations, feelings, emotions, etc. It would consist in a special way of experiencing the world and ourselves.

  • FODOR, J. (1979). The Language of Thought. Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press.
  • --------- (1990). A Theory of Content and Other Essays. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • DENNETT, D. (1969). Content and Consciousness. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  • --------- (1978). Brainstorm: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology. Montgomery: Bradford Books.
  • DRETSKE, F. (1980). Knowledge and the Flow of Information. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • MILLIKAN, R. (1984). Language, Thought and Other Biological Cathegories. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • SCHIFFER, S. (1987). Remnants of Meaning. Cambridge: MIT Press.
The bibliographic resources offered by David CHALMERS in his website are extremely useful: <>
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Manuel Liz(8/11/2009)
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