Allen, C. (1992) Mental content. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43:537--553
Abstract

Daniel Dennett and Stephen Stich have independently, but similarly, argued that the contents of mental states cannot be specified precisely enough for the purposes of scientific prediction and explanation. Dennett takes this to support his view that the proper role for mentalistic terms in science is heuristic. Stich takes it to support his view that cognitive science should be done without reference to mental content at all. I defend a realist understanding of mental content against these attacks by Dennett and Stich. I argue that they both mistake the difficulty of making content ascriptions precise for the impossibility of doing so.