In their joint paper for this issue, Adams and Aizawa respond to some of myIn the last sentence, Menary seems to get our point that there are two questionsone might ask of a representation: 1) What is its content? and 2) In virtue of what conditions does it get that content. That's what we are on about here:
concerns about their usage of the intrinsic/extrinsic underived/derived distinctions as applied to representations and content (Menary 2006). Their concern is how something gets its content, the pertinent question is: how does the way that a representation get its content matter to whether or not a representation can count as a cognitive representation? It turns out not to matter much, because Adams and Aizawa really think that there is no difference in kind between underived and derived content. Both underived and derived representations have the same content, they just get those contents determined differently (2010b).
The first thing to observe about the derived/non-derived distinction is that it concerns the conditions in virtue of which an object bears a particular content. A thought might bear the content that the cat is hungry in virtue of satisfying some conditions on non-derived content, whereas a particular inscription on a piece of paper might bear that same content by satisfying some other conditions on derived content. To put the matter another way, there are two questions one might ask of a representation. The first is what content that representation bears; the second is what conditions make it the case that it bears that content. (Adams & Aizawa, 2010, p. 582).Now, what's puzzling in this light is Menary's claim that "Adams and Aizawa really think that there is no difference in kind between underived and derived content." Well, no. There is a difference in kind between underived and derived content, namely, the conditions in virtue of what something bears a given content.