Representations of the World

'Mental states' are retheorized from the standpoint of social statuses (qua commitments and entitlements to signify and interpret in particular ways) and speech acts (qua signs with propositional contents). Using ideas developed in 'The semiotic stance' (2005), it theorizes five interrelated semiotic processes that are usually understood in a psychological idiom: memories, perceptions, beliefs, intentions, and plans. It uses this theory to account for the key features of human-specific modes of intentionality (or 'theory of mind'), as well as the key dimensions along which culture-specific modes of intentionality may vary (or 'ethnopsychologies'). And it theorizes 'emotion' in terms of a framework that bridges the distinction between social constructions and natural kinds.