Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Conceptual role: semantics of the conceptual role - is about representations in connection with functions of thinking instead of functions of language use. - Locus classicus Ned Block conceptual role semantics, CRS. See also compositionality, truth functional semantics, inferential semantics, inferentialism.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Excerpt Meta data

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I 108f
Conceptual Role/Schiffer: tells us how to get from stimuli to beliefs - the conceptual role of a mental representation is then the counterfactual role of the formula in the perceptual belief formation and in the reasoning - it is a counterfactual property - formal property of internal sentences - can be determined without reference to t-theoretical properties - the conceptual role of a mental representation does not determine the truth conditions - E.g. twin earth H2O and XYZ have the same conceptual role - i.e. the conceptual role is used in addition to the truth conditions.
I 109
Definition Conceptual Role/Field: (Field 1977): the subjectively induced conditional probability function of an actor. Two mental representations s1 and s2 have the same conceptual role for one person iff. their (the person's) subjective conditional probability function is such that for each mental representation s the subjective probability of s1 given s is the same as that of s2 given s - SchifferVs: never happens - Field ditto - E.g. blind persons certainly have different conceptual roles of flounders - then there will be no correlation to the belief objects either.
I 167
Conceptual Role/Schiffer: of an inner formula is then the complex counterfactual property of the formula, whose knowledge informs us about the conditions under which the formula occurs - Conceptual role instead of definition: then it is impossible to eliminate by paraphrase - then irreducible - >controlled use! - Schiffer: Thesis: simply conceptual role instead of platonist irreducible property e.g. of being a dog: cute hairy barking quadrupeds - accordingly we need no primitive propositional attitude and no belief properties - proto-humans: have beliefs and desires, but no concepts for them - later God gives simple concepts for them (increases the survival value) - they are recognized as irreducible.
I 169
N.B.: conceptual role: does not allow law-like generalization as e.g. x does A, because he wants P and believes that he achieves P if he does A - nevertheless there is reliability.
I 186
Conceptual Role/Schiffer: must be determined without reference to the truth conditions - It does not determine the truth conditions - E.g. Twin Earth: water and twin earth water have the same conceptual role - use is synonymous to possession of a conceptual role - internal language (Mentalese) here, the conceptual role is independent from reference - therefore no compositional semantics assumed - this is not about situations, speech acts or utterances.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Schi I
St. Schiffer
Remnants of Meaning Cambridge 1987

> Counter arguments against Schiffer

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-09-21