Minds and Machines

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 97–104 | Cite as

Fodorian semantics, pathologies, and “Block's Problem”

  • Fred Adams
  • Kenneth Aizawa


In two recent books, Jerry Fodor has developed a set of sufficient conditions for an object “X” to non-naturally and non-derivatively mean X. In an earlier paper we presented three reasons for thinking Fodor's theory to be inadequate. One of these problems we have dubbed the “Pathologies Problem”. In response to queries concerning the relationship between the Pathologies Problem and what Fodor calls “Block's Problem”, we argue that, while Block's Problem does not threatenFodor's view, the Pathologies Problem does.

Key words

Asymmetric causal dependency Block Fodor content meaning pathologies semantics 


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  1. Adams, F. and Aizawa, K. (1992), ‘“X” Means X: Semantics Fodor-Style’,Minds and Machines 2, pp. 175–183.Google Scholar
  2. Fodor, J. (1987),Psychosemantics, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Fodor, J. (1990),A Theory of Content and Other Essays, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Adams
    • 1
  • Kenneth Aizawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCentral Michigan UniversityMt. PleasantUSA

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