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  1. added 2018-10-12
    Perceptual Variation and Structuralism.John Morrison - forthcoming - Noûs.
    I use an old challenge to motivate a new view. The old challenge is due to variation in our perceptions of secondary qualities. The challenge is to say whose perceptions are accurate. The new view is about how we manage to perceive secondary qualities, and thus manage to perceive them accurately or inaccurately. I call it perceptual structuralism. I first introduce the challenge and point out drawbacks with traditional responses. I spend the rest of the paper motivating and defending a (...)
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  2. added 2018-08-22
    Strategic Content: Representations of Epistemic Modality in Biosemantics.Gunnar Björnsson - 2018 - Theoria 84 (3):259-277.
    A central idea in Ruth Millikan’s biosemantics is that a representation’s content is restricted to conditions required for the normal success of actions that it has as its function to guide. This paper raises and responds to a problem for this idea. The problem is that the success requirement seems to block us from saying that epistemic modal judgments represent our epistemic circumstances. For the normal success of actions guided by these judgments seems to depend on what is actually the (...)
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  3. added 2018-08-01
    Quine's Naturalism and Behaviorisms.Tony Cheng - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (4):548-567.
    This paper investigates the complicated relations between various versions of naturalism, behaviorism, and mentalism within the framework of W. V. O. Quine's thinking. It begins with Roger Gibson's reconstruction of Quine's behaviorisms and argues that it lacks a crucial ontological element and misconstrues the relation between philosophy and science. After getting clear of Quine's naturalism, the paper distinguishes between evidential, methodological, and ontological behaviorisms. The evidential and methodological versions are often conflated, but they need to be clearly distinguished in order (...)
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  4. added 2018-03-03
    Quantum Gravity, Timelessness, and the Contents of Thought.David Braddon-Mitchell & Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    A number of recent theories of quantum gravity lack a one-dimensional structure of ordered temporal instants. Instead, according to many of these views, our world is either best represented as a single three-dimensional object, or as a configuration space composed of such three-dimensional objects, none of which bear temporal relations to one another. Such theories will be empirically self-refuting unless they can accommodate the existence of conscious beings capable of representation. For if representation itself is impossible in a timeless world, (...)
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  5. added 2017-11-01
    The Linguistic Determination of Conscious Thought Contents.Agustín Vicente & Marta Jorba - 2017 - Noûs.
    In this paper we address the question of what determines the content of our conscious episodes of thinking, considering recent claims that phenomenal character individuates thought contents. We present one prominent way for defenders of phenomenal intentionality to develop that view and then examine ‘sensory inner speech views’, which provide an alternative way of accounting for thought-content determinacy. We argue that such views fare well with inner speech thinking but have problems accounting for unsymbolized thinking. Within this dialectic, we present (...)
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  6. added 2016-12-08
    Perceptual Particularity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):25-54.
    Perception grounds demonstrative reference, yields singular thoughts, and fixes the reference of singular terms. Moreover, perception provides us with knowledge of particulars in our environment and justifies singular thoughts about particulars. How does perception play these cognitive and epistemic roles in our lives? I address this question by exploring the fundamental nature of perceptual experience. I argue that perceptual states are constituted by particulars and discuss epistemic, ontological, psychologistic, and semantic approaches to account for perceptual particularity.
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  7. added 2016-07-17
    The Open-Endedness Objection Against Sophisticated Dispositionalism.Sergio Farias de SouzaFilho - 2014 - Perspectiva Filosófica 41 (1):49-56.
    Sophisticated dispositionalism proposes a naturalist reduction of mental content by claiming that the semantic content of a mental symbol is determined by the causes of the occurrence of this symbol under ideal conditions, i.e., conditions under which only the referent of a symbol can cause its tokening. However, Paul Boghossian developed the open-endedness objection in order to show that it is not possible to specify these ideal conditions in non-semantic terms, entailing that the naturalist reduction of mental content proposed by (...)
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  8. added 2015-09-20
    Biosemiotics, Aboutness, Meaning and Bio-Intentionality. Proposal for an Evolutionary Approach (2015).Christophe Menant - 2015 - Dissertation, Biosemiotics Gatherings 2015. Aalborg University Copenhagen
    The management of meaningful information by biological entities is at the core of biosemiotics [Hoffmeyer 2010]. Intentionality, the ‘aboutness’ of mental states, is a key driver in philosophy of mind. Philosophers have been reluctant to use intentionality for non human animals. Some biologists have been in favor of it. J. Hoffmeyer has been using evolutionary intentionality and Peircean semiotics to discuss a biosemiotic approach to the problem of intentionality [Hoffmeyer 1996, 2012]. Also, recent philosophical studies are bringing new openings on (...)
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  9. added 2015-08-29
    Materialism.Andrew Melnyk - 2012 - Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews 3 (3):281-292.
    Materialism is nearly universally assumed by cognitive scientists. Intuitively, materialism says that a person’s mental states are nothing over and above his or her material states, while dualism denies this. Philosophers have introduced concepts (e.g., realization, supervenience) to assist in formulating the theses of materialism and dualism with more precision, and distinguished among importantly different versions of each view (e.g., eliminative materialism, substance dualism, emergentism). They have also clarified the logic of arguments that use empirical findings to support materialism. Finally, (...)
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  10. added 2015-06-03
    Navigating Beyond “Here & Now” Affordances—on Sensorimotor Maturation and “False Belief” Performance.Maria Brincker - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
    How and when do we learn to understand other people’s perspectives and possibly divergent beliefs? This question has elicited much theoretical and empirical research. A puzzling finding has been that toddlers perform well on so-called implicit false belief (FB) tasks but do not show such capacities on traditional explicit FB tasks. I propose a navigational approach, which offers a hitherto ignored way of making sense of the seemingly contradictory results. The proposal involves a distinction between how we navigate FBs as (...)
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  11. added 2014-10-31
    Placement, Grounding, and Mental Content.Kelly Trogdon - 2015 - In C. Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook on Philosophical Methods. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 481-496.
    One central issue concerning philosophical methodology is this: what concepts should go into our philosophical toolbox? That is to say, what notions are appropriate to rely on in doing philosophy? This issue is relevant not only to how we should go about addressing philosophical problems but also how we’re to formulate those problems in the first place. There is a burgeoning literature on the notion of grounding. I’m a proponent of grounding – I think the notion of grounding is coherent (...)
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  12. added 2014-08-26
    Lockhart's Problem.Adam Morton - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 25 (30):25-30.
    If we had more powerful minds would we be puzzled by less - because we could make better theories - or by more - because we could ask more difficult questions? This paper focuses on clarifying the question, with an emphasis on comparisons between actual and possible species of thinker. A pre-publication version of the paper is available on my website at http://www.fernieroad.ca/a/PAPERS/papers.html .
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  13. added 2014-04-18
    The Real Trouble for Phenomenal Externalists: New Empirical Evidence for a Brain- Based Theory of Consciousnes.Adam Pautz - 2013 - In Richard Brown (ed.), Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Springer. pp. 237-298.
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  14. added 2014-03-29
    James' Pragmatic Account of Intentionality and Truth.Henry Jackman - 1998 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 34 (1):155-181.
    William James presents a preference-sensitive and future-directed notion of truth that has struck many as wildly revisionary. This paper argues that such a reaction usually results from failing to see how his accounts of truth and intentionality are intertwined. James' forward-looking account of intentionality (or "knowing") compares favorably the 'causal' and 'resemblance-driven' accounts that have been popular since his day, and it is only when his remarks about truth are placed in the context of his account of intentionality that they (...)
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  15. added 2014-03-20
    Perceptual Causality Problems Reflexively Resolved.John Dilworth - 2005 - Acta Analytica 20 (3):11-31.
    Causal theories of perception typically have problems in explaining deviant causal chains. They also have difficulty with other unusual putative cases of perception involving prosthetic aids, defective perception, scientifically extended cases of perception, and so on. But I show how a more adequate reflexive causal theory, in which objects or properties X cause a perceiver to acquire X-related dispositions toward that very same item X, can provide a plausible and principled perceptual explanation of all of these kinds of cases. A (...)
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  16. added 2014-03-20
    A Naturalistic, Reflexive Dispositional Approach to Perception.John Dilworth - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):583-601.
    This paper will investigate the basic question of the nature of perception, as theoretically approached from a purely naturalistic standpoint. An adequate theory must not only have clear application to a world full of pre-existing biological examples of perception of all kinds, from unicellular perception to conscious human perception, but it must also satisfy a series of theoretical or philosophical constraints, as enumerated and discussed in Section 1 below. A perceptual theory invoking _reflexive dispositions_--that is, dispositions directed toward the very (...)
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  17. added 2014-03-13
    Semantic Naturalization Via Interactive Perceptual Causality.John Dilworth - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (4):527-546.
    A novel semantic naturalization program is proposed. Its three main differences from informational semantics approaches are as follows. First, it makes use of a perceptually based, four-factor interactive causal relation in place of a simple nomic covariance relation. Second, it does not attempt to globally naturalize all semantic concepts, but instead it appeals to a broadly realist interpretation of natural science, in which the concept of propositional truth is off-limits to naturalization attempts. And third, it treats all semantic concepts as (...)
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  18. added 2014-03-12
    Naturalized Perception Without Information.John Dilworth - 2004 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (4):349-368.
    The outlines of a novel, fully naturalistic theory of perception are provided, that can explain perception of an object X by organism Z in terms of reflexive causality. On the reflexive view proposed, organism Z perceives object or property X just in case X causes Z to acquire causal dispositions reflexively directed back upon X itself. This broadly functionalist theory is potentially capable of explaining both perceptual representation and perceptual content in purely causal terms, making no use of informational concepts. (...)
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  19. added 2014-03-07
    More on the Interactive Indexing Semantic Theory.John Dilworth - 2010 - Minds and Machines 20 (3):455-474.
    This article further explains and develops a recent, comprehensive semantic naturalization theory, namely the interactive indexing (II) theory as described in my 2008 Minds and Machines article Semantic Naturalization via Interactive Perceptual Causality (Vol. 18, pp. 527–546). Folk views postulate a concrete intentional relation between cognitive states and the worldly states they are about. The II theory eliminates any such concrete intentionality, replacing it with purely causal relations based on the interactive theory of perception. But intentionality is preserved via purely (...)
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  20. added 2014-03-04
    Ontological Minimalism About Phenomenology.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):1-40.
    I develop a view of the common factor between subjectively indistinguishable perceptions and hallucinations that avoids analyzing experiences as involving awareness relations to abstract entities, sense-data, or any other peculiar entities. The main thesis is that hallucinating subjects employ concepts (or analogous nonconceptual structures), namely the very same concepts that in a subjectively indistinguishable perception are employed as a consequence of being related to external, mind-independent objects or property-instances. These concepts and nonconceptual structures are identified with modes of presentation types. (...)
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  21. added 2013-09-23
    Representations Gone Mental.Alex Morgan - 2014 - Synthese 191 (2):213-244.
    Many philosophers and psychologists have attempted to elucidate the nature of mental representation by appealing to notions like isomorphism or abstract structural resemblance. The ‘structural representations’ that these theorists champion are said to count as representations by virtue of functioning as internal models of distal systems. In his 2007 book, Representation Reconsidered, William Ramsey endorses the structural conception of mental representation, but uses it to develop a novel argument against representationalism, the widespread view that cognition essentially involves the manipulation of (...)
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  22. added 2013-09-02
    Verbs and Minds.Carrie Figdor - 2014 - In Mark Sprevak Jesper Kallestrup (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind.
    I introduce and defend verbialism, a metaphysical framework appropriate for accommodating the mind within the natural sciences and the mechanistic model of explanation that ties the natural sciences together. Verbialism is the view that mental phenomena belong in the basic ontological category of activities. If mind is what brain does, then explaining the mind is explaining how it occurs, and the ontology of mind is verbialist -- at least, it ought to be. I motivate verbialism by revealing a kind of (...)
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  23. added 2013-01-26
    Intentionality: Past and Future (Value Inquiry Book Series, Volume 173).Gabor Forrai (ed.) - 2005 - New York: Rodopi NY.
    The present volume has grown out of a conference organized jointly by the History of Philosophy Department of the University of Miskolc and the History and Philosophy of Science Department of Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), which took place in June 2002. The aim of the conference was to explore the various angles from which intentionality can be studied, how it is related to other philosophical issues, and how it figures in the works of major philosophers in the past. It also (...)
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  24. added 2012-12-22
    Idealizing, Abstracting, and Semantic Dispositionalism.Adam C. Podlaskowski & Nicholaos J. Jones - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (1):166-178.
    Abstract: According to certain dispositional accounts of meaning, an agent's meaning is determined by the dispositions that an idealized version of this agent has in optimal conditions. We argue that such attempts cannot properly fix meaning. For even if there is a way to determine which features of an agent should be idealized without appealing to what the agent means, there is no non-circular way to determine how those features should be idealized. We sketch an alternative dispositional account that avoids (...)
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  25. added 2012-12-22
    Simple Tasks, Abstractions, and Semantic Dispositionalism.Adam C. Podlaskowski - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (4):453-470.
    According to certain kinds of semantic dispositionalism, what an agent means by her words is grounded by her dispositions to complete simple tasks. This sort of position is often thought to avoid the finitude problem raised by Kripke against simpler forms of dispositionalism. The traditional objection is that, since words possess indefinite (or infinite) extensions, and our dispositions to use words are only finite, those dispositions prove inadequate to serve as ground for what we mean by our words. I argue (...)
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  26. added 2012-10-07
    Two Notions of Mental Representation.Uriah Kriegel - 2013 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 161-179.
    The main thesis of this paper is twofold. In the first half of the paper, (§§1-2), I argue that there are two notions of mental representation, which I call objective and subjective. In the second part (§§3-7), I argue that this casts familiar tracking theories of mental representation as incomplete: while it is clear how they might account for objective representation, they at least require supplementation to account for subjective representation.
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  27. added 2012-05-08
    Reliable Misrepresentation and Tracking Theories of Mental Representation.Angela Mendelovici - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):421-443.
    It is a live possibility that certain of our experiences reliably misrepresent the world around us. I argue that tracking theories of mental representation have difficulty allowing for this possibility, and that this is a major consideration against them.
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  28. added 2011-07-25
    Problems of Representation II: Naturalizing Content.Dan Ryder - 2009 - In Francisco Garzon & John Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.
    John is currently thinking that the sun is bright. Consider his occurrent belief or judgement that the sun is bright. Its content is that the sun is bright. This is a truth- evaluable content (which shall be our main concern) because it is capable of being true or false. In virtue of what natural, scientifically accessible facts does John’s judgement have this content? To give the correct answer to that question, and to explain why John’s judgement and other contentful mental (...)
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  29. added 2010-06-30
    Realistic Virtual Reality and Perception.John Dilworth - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):23-42.
    Realistic uses of Virtual Reality technology closely integrate user training on virtual objects with VR-assisted user interactions with real objects. This paper shows how the Interactive Theory of Perception may be extended to cover such cases. Virtual objects are explained as concrete models that have an inner generation mechanism, and the ITP is used to explain how VR users can both perceive such local CMs, and perceptually represent remote real objects. Also, concepts of modeling and representation are distinguished. The paper (...)
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  30. added 2010-06-30
    Semantics Naturalized: Propositional Indexing Plus Interactive Perception.John Dilworth - 2009 - Language and Communication 29 (1):1-25.
    A concrete proposal is presented as to how semantics should be naturalized. Rather than attempting to naturalize propositions, they are treated as abstract entities that index concrete cognitive states. In turn the relevant concrete cognitive states are identified via perceptual classifications of worldly states, with the aid of an interactive theory of perception. The approach enables a broadly realist theory of propositions, truth and cognitive states to be preserved, with propositions functioning much as abstract mathematical constructs do in the nonsemantic (...)
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  31. added 2010-06-30
    The Reflexive Theory of Perception.John Dilworth - 2005 - Behavior and Philosophy 33 (1):17-40.
    ABSTRACT: The Reflexive Theory of Perception (RTP) claims that perception of an object or property X by an organism Z consists in Z being caused by X to acquire some disposition D toward X itself. This broadly behavioral perceptual theory explains perceptual intentionality and correct versus incorrect, plus successful versus unsuccessful, perception in a plausible evolutionary framework. The theory also undermines cognitive and perceptual modularity assumptions, including informational or purely epistemic views of perception in that, according to the RTP, any (...)
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  32. added 2010-05-28
    The Tenacity of the Intentional Prior to the Genealogy.Mark Alfano - 2010 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 40 (1):29-46.
    I have argued elsewhere that the psychological aspects of Nietzsche’s later works are best understood from a psychodynamic point of view. Nietzsche holds a view I dubbed the tenacity of the intentional (T): when an intentional state loses its object, a new object replaces the original; the state does not disappear entirely. In this essay I amend and clarify (T) to (T``): When an intentional state with a sub-propositional object loses its object, the affective component of the state persists without (...)
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  33. added 2010-04-11
    Causal Theories of Intentionality.Robert D. Rupert - forthcoming - In Hal Pashler (ed.), The Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage Publications.
    This entry surveys a range of proposed solutions to the problem of intentionality, that is, the problem of explaining how human thoughts can be about, or be directed toward, objects. The family of solutions described here takes the content of a mental representation—what that concept represents or is about—to be a function of causal relations between mental representations and their typically external objects. This emphasis on causal relations should be understood broadly, however, so as to cover theories couched in terms (...)
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  34. added 2009-11-20
    The Nature and Implementation of Representation in Biological Systems.Mike Collins - 2009 - Dissertation, City University of New York
    I defend a theory of mental representation that satisfies naturalistic constraints. Briefly, we begin by distinguishing (i) what makes something a representation from (ii) given that a thing is a representation, what determines what it represents. Representations are states of biological organisms, so we should expect a unified theoretical framework for explaining both what it is to be a representation as well as what it is to be a heart or a kidney. I follow Millikan in explaining (i) in terms (...)
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  35. added 2009-09-29
    Nietzsche, Naturalism, and the Tenacity of the Intentional.Mark Alfano - 2013 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 44 (3):457-464.
    In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche demands that “psychology shall be<br>recognized again as the queen of the sciences.” While one might cast a dubious glance at the “again,” many of Nietzsche’s insights were indeed psychological, and many of his arguments invoke psychological premises. In Genealogy, he criticizes the “English psychologists” for the “inherent psychological absurdity” of their theory of the origin of good and bad, pointing out the implausibility of the claim that the utility of unegoistic<br>actions would be forgotten. Tabling (...)
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  36. added 2008-12-31
    On Thinking of Kinds: A Neuroscientific Perspective.Dan Ryder - 2006 - In Graham MacDonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-145.
    Reductive, naturalistic psychosemantic theories do not have a good track record when it comes to accommodating the representation of kinds. In this paper, I will suggest a particular teleosemantic strategy to solve this problem, grounded in the neurocomputational details of the cerebral cortex. It is a strategy with some parallels to one that Ruth Millikan has suggested, but to which insufficient attention has been paid. This lack of attention is perhaps due to a lack of appreciation for the severity of (...)
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