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Philosophy and Religious Studies

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Book Review

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Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


The relations between our cognitions and what they are about have been much discussed in recent decades. A popular view used to be that the relation between a cognitive state and what it is about is a contingent affair, namely that my cognitive state might have been just as it actually is in the absence of the object it is of, or in the presence of a qualitatively identical object as the one it is of. A second position, one more in vogue now, is that we can distinguish between a wide and a narrow content, where the wide content is dependent on the object it is of while the narrow content is not. Ori Simchen rejects both of these views. Instead, he argues, there is a necessary connection between a cognitive episode and the object it is of. There are no narrow contents. Further, a name is necessarily of the object it names. There are natural kinds and individuals have essences that restrain the way they might be. Necessities abound.


This book review is published as Geirsson, H. Ori Simchen, Necessary Intentionality: A Study in the Metaphysics of Aboutness, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2012. Posted with permission.

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