Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Continuing Commentary

Two kinds of representational functionalism: Defusing the combinatorial explosion

Joel Pusta1

a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

Commentary on Alison Copnik (1993) How we know our minds: The illusion of first-person knowledge of intentionality. BBS 16:1–14.

Commentary on Alvin I. Goldman (1993) The psychology of folk psychology. BBS 16:15–28.


Alvin Goldman (1993) presents three arguments against the psychological plausibility of representational functionalism (RF) as a theory of how subjects self-ascribe mental predicates. Goldman appears to construe RF as an account of attitude type self-ascription. His “combinatorial explosion” argument, however, proves devastating only to an implausible construal of RF as an account of attitude content self-ascription.