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  1. Acts of Desire.Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-18.
    Act-based theories of content hold that propositions are identical to acts of predication that we perform in thought and talk. To undergo an occurrent thought with a particular content just is to perform the act of predication that individuates that content. But identifying the content of a thought with the performance of an act of predication makes it difficult to explain the intentionality of bouletic mental activity, like wanting and desiring. In this paper, I argue that this difficulty is insurmountable: (...)
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  2. How to Think About Mental Content.Frances Egan - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 170 (1):115-135.
    Introduction: representationalismMost theorists of cognition endorse some version of representationalism, which I will understand as the view that the human mind is an information-using system, and that human cognitive capacities are representational capacities. Of course, notions such as ‘representation’ and ‘information-using’ are terms of art that require explication. As a first pass, representations are “mediating states of an intelligent system that carry information” (Markman and Dietrich 2001, p. 471). They have two important features: (1) they are physically realized, and so (...)
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  3. Unfollowed Rules and the Normativity of Content.Eric V. Tracy - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Foundational theories of mental content seek to identify the conditions under which a mental representation expresses, in the mind of a particular thinker, a particular content. Normativists endorse the following general sort of foundational theory of mental content: A mental representation r expresses concept C for agent S just in case S ought to use r in conformity with some particular pattern of use associated with C. In response to Normativist theories of content, Kathrin Glüer-Pagin and Åsa Wikforss propose a (...)
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  4. Intentionality, Politics, And Religion.Mohammed Azadpur - 2015 - Religious Inquiries 4 (8):17-22.
    The idea that intentionality is the distinctive mark of the mental or that only mental phenomena have intentionality emerged in the philosophical tradition after Franz Brentano. Much of contemporary philosophy is dedicated to a rejection of the view that mental phenomena have original intentionality. In other words, main strands of contemporary philosophy seek to naturalize intentionality of the mental by tracing it to linguistic intentionality. So in order to avoid the problematic claim that a physical phenomenon can in virtue of (...)
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  5. Phenomenal Consciousness from the Prospect of Representational Theory of Mind.Seyed Mohammad Hosseini & Kambiz Badee - 2013 - Falsafe 41 (1):85-104.
    One of the most important questions in epistemology is the nonphysical realities, like phenomenal consciousness. The main claim of physicalism is real explanations of events and properties are only physical explanations and representationalists are agree too. Thus these realities can explained by the rule of biases of physical and objective events.On the other hand , phenomenalists maintain that conscious experiences and aspect of subjectivity of phenomenal consciousness are not. In this article I attempt formulated the problem of phenomenal consciousness based (...)
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  6. O Livre-Arbítrio em John R. Searle: Uma Contraposição do Naturalismo Biológico ao Fisicalismo e ao Funcionalismo.Daniel P. Nunes - 2014 - Dissertation, UNIVERSIDADE DE CAXIAS DO SUL
    This dissertation aims to examine whether John Searle’s biological naturalism is a more viable alternative to current physicalist and functionalist positions in dealing with the issue of free will. Thus, my strategy is to identify the assumptions of these lines of thought and their philosophical consequences. In order to accomplish this goal the concept of intrinsic intentionality is taken as a guide. I begin by defining what is meant by free will and go on to broadly characterize physicalist and functionalist (...)
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  7. The Hard and Easy Grounding Problems (Comment on A. Cangelosi).Vincent C. Müller - 2011 - International Journal of Signs and Semiotic Systems 1 (1):70-70.
    I see four symbol grounding problems: 1) How can a purely computational mind acquire meaningful symbols? 2) How can we get a computational robot to show the right linguistic behavior? These two are misleading. I suggest an 'easy' and a 'hard' problem: 3) How can we explain and re-produce the behavioral ability and function of meaning in artificial computational agents?4) How does physics give rise to meaning?
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  8. Naturalismus und Intentionalität.Geert Keil - 2000 - In Geert Keil & Herbert Schnädelbach (eds.), Naturalismus. Suhrkamp. pp. 187-204.
    Naturalism in theoretical philosophy comes in three kinds: metaphysical, scientific and semantical. Metaphysical naturalism holds that only natural things exist, scientific (or methodological) naturalism holds that the methods of natural science provide the only avenue to truth, semantic (or analytic) naturalism tries to provide sufficient nonintentional conditions for intentional phenomena. The paper argues that analytic naturalism does not render metaphysical or scientific naturalism obsolete, but can be understood as a further step in elaborating upon these programmes. The intentional idiom of (...)
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  9. Naturalismuskritik und Metaphorologie.Geert Keil - 2010 - In Michael Bölker Mathias Gutmann & Wolfgang Hesse (eds.), Information und Menschenbild. pp. 155-171.
    In natürlicher Sprache formulierte Theorien über welchen Gegenstandsbereich auch immer zeichnen sich wesentlich durch ihre zentralen Begriffe aus. In der Begrifflichkeit einer Theorie spiegeln sich ihre Klassifikationen und gegebenenfalls die angenommenen natürlichen Arten wider. Da von den natürlichen Arten unter anderem abhängt, welche induktiven Schlüsse möglich sind, kann man ohne Übertreibung sagen, dass die zentralen Begriffe einer Theorie einen Teil ihrer Erklärungslast tragen. Eine naturalistische Theorie beansprucht, die von ihr behandelten Phänomene als Teile der natürlichen Welt verständlich zu machen, und (...)
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  10. Das Problem der Intentionalität.Wolfgang Barz - 2004 - Mentis.
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  11. Higher-Order Intentionality and Dretske's View of Analytic Knowledge.Sudan A. Turner - manuscript
    Dretske makes arguments in which he suggests three levels of the intentionality of knowledge: (1) a low level belonging to law-like causal relationships between physical properties, (2) a middle level defined in terms of the intensionality of sentences describing knowledge of these properties, and (3) a highest level of human cognition. Acknowledging the need to explain humans’ analytic knowledge, however, he proposes that we know a proposition P analytically when we know that P entails Q, even though P and Q (...)
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  12. A Simple View of Consciousness.Adam Pautz - 2009 - In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism. Oxford University Press. pp. 25--66.
    Phenomenal intentionality is irreducible. Empirical investigation shows it is internally-dependent. So our usual externalist (causal, etc.) theories do not apply here. Internalist views of phenomenal intentionality (e. g. interpretationism) also fail. The resulting primitivist view avoids Papineau's worry that terms for consciousness are highly indeterminate: since conscious properties are extremely natural (despite having unnatural supervenience bases) they are 'reference magnets'.
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  13. Intentionality: Spontaneous Ascription and Deep Intuition.Kim Davies - 1982 - Analysis 42 (June):169-171.
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Information-Based Accounts of Mental Content
  1. Millikan's Beyond Concepts Summary Notes.Dorit Bar-On - manuscript
    These summary notes on Ruth Millikan’s latest book Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information (OUP, 2017) were prepared by Dorit Bar-On for a discussion group that met in Summer 2018. The notes have been lightly edited by Millikan and prepared for online publication with the help of Drew Johnson.
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  2. Review of A Mark of the Mental. [REVIEW]Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (3):378-385.
    Karen Neander's A Mark of the Mental is a noteworthy and novel contribution to the long-running project of naturalizing intentionality. The aim of the book is to “solve the part of Brentano’s problem that is within reach” (3). Brentano's problem is the problem of explaining intentionality; the part of this problem that is supposedly within reach is that of explaining nonconceptual sensory-perceptual intentionality; and Neander aims to solve it via an informational teleosemantic theory. In this review, we provide a chapter-by-chapter (...)
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  3. Best Test Theory of Extension.Robert D. Rupert - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
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  4. Representation and Mental Representation.Robert D. Rupert - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):204-225.
    This paper engages critically with anti-representationalist arguments pressed by prominent enactivists and their allies. The arguments in question are meant to show that the “as-such” and “job-description” problems constitute insurmountable challenges to causal-informational theories of mental content. In response to these challenges, a positive account of what makes a physical or computational structure a mental representation is proposed; the positive account is inspired partly by Dretske’s views about content and partly by the role of mental representations in contemporary cognitive scientific (...)
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  5. Information-Theoretic Philosophy of Mind.Jason Winning & William Bechtel - 2016 - In Luciano Floridi (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Information. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 347-360.
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  6. Can Bohmian Quantum Information Help Us to Understand Consciousness?Paavo Pylkkänen - 2016 - In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). Springer Publishing Company. pp. 76-87.
    The paper explores whether David Bohm’ s proposal about quantum theoretical active information, and the mind-matter scheme he developed on the basis of it, can help us to explain consciousness. Here it is important to acknowledge that other researchers in philosophy of mind and consciousness studies have also made use of the concept of information in their theories of mind and consciousness. For example, Dretske and Barwise and Seligman have explored the possibility that information in the sense of factual semantic (...)
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  7. Information, Constraint and Meaning. From the Pre-Biotic World to a Possible Post Human One. An Evolutionary Approach (IS4SI 2017).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The presentation proposes to complement an existing development on meaning generation for animals, humans and artificial agents by looking at what could have existed at pre-biotic times and what could be a post-human meaning generation. The core of the approach is based on an existing model for meaning generation: the Meaning Generator System (MGS). The MGS is part of an agent submitted to an internal constraint. The MGS generates a meaning when it receives an information that has a connection with (...)
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  8. 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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  9. “Assertion” and Intentionality.Jason Stanley - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (1):87-113.
    Robert Stalnaker argues that his causal-pragmatic account of the problem of intentionality commits him to a coarse-grained conception of the contents of mental states, where propositions are represented as sets of possible worlds. Stalnaker also accepts the "direct reference" theory of names, according to which co-referring names have the same content. Stalnaker's view of content is thus threatened by Frege's Puzzle. Stalnaker's classic paper "Assertion" is intended to provide a response to this threat. In this paper, I evaluate Stalnaker's claim (...)
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  10. The Semantic Problem(s) with Research on Animal Mind‐Reading.Cameron Buckner - 2014 - Mind and Language 29 (5):566-589.
    Philosophers and cognitive scientists have worried that research on animal mind-reading faces a ‘logical problem’: the difficulty of experimentally determining whether animals represent mental states (e.g. seeing) or merely the observable evidence (e.g. line-of-gaze) for those mental states. The most impressive attempt to confront this problem has been mounted recently by Robert Lurz. However, Lurz' approach faces its own logical problem, revealing this challenge to be a special case of the more general problem of distal content. Moreover, participants in this (...)
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  11. Placement, Grounding, and Mental Content.Kelly Trogdon - 2015 - In C. Daly (ed.), Palgrave Handbook on Philosophical Methods. New York, NY, USA: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 481-496.
    Grounding-theoretic reformulation of Fodor's theory of content that addresses recalcitrant Quinean concerns.
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  12. Debunking Enactivism: A Critical Notice of Hutto and Myin's Radicalizing Enactivism. [REVIEW]Mohan Matthen - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (1):118-128.
    In this review of Hutto and Myin's Radicalizing Enactivism, I question the adequacy of a non-representational theory of mind. I argue first that such a theory cannot differentiate cognition from other bodily engagements such as wrestling with an opponent. Second, I question whether the simple robots constructed by Rodney Brooks are adequate as models of multimodal organisms. Last, I argue that Hutto and Myin pay very little attention to how semantically interacting representations are needed to give an account of choice (...)
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  13. Representationalism Defended.Mohan Matthen - manuscript
    This is a comment on Frances Egan's paper, "How to Think About Mental Content." Egan distinguishes mathematical and cognitive content; she accepts the former and rejects the latter. In this comment, which was delivered at the Oberlin Colloquium in 2012, I defend cognitive content.
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  14. Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337.
    This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
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  15. 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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  16. Pomposo, Ma Non Allegro.Rowan Grigg - manuscript
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  17. Mind, Matter, Meaning and Information.Robin Faichney - 2013 - TripleC - Cognition, Communication, Co-Operation 11 (1):36-45.
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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. Concepts, Introspection, and Phenomenal Consciousness: An Information-Theoretical Approach.Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere - 2005 - Noûs 39 (2):197-255.
    This essay is a sustained attempt to bring new light to some of the perennial problems in philosophy of mind surrounding phenomenal consciousness and introspection through developing an account of sensory and phenomenal concepts. Building on the information-theoretic framework of Dretske (1981), we present an informational psychosemantics as it applies to what we call sensory concepts, concepts that apply, roughly, to so-called secondary qualities of objects. We show that these concepts have a special informational character and semantic structure that closely (...)
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  21. Mental Representations and Millikan’s Theory of Intentional Content: Does Biology Chase Causality?Robert D. Rupert - 1999 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):113-140.
    In her landmark book, Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories (Millikan1984),1 Ruth Garrett Millikan utilizes the idea of a biological function to solve philosophical problems associated with the phenomena of language, thought, and meaning. Language and thought are activities of biological organisms, according to Millikan, and we should treat them as such when trying to answer related philosophical questions. Of special interest is Millikan’s treatment of intentionality. Here Millikan employs the notion of a biological function to explain what it is (...)
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Asymmetric-Dependence Accounts of Mental Content
  1. Foundation for a Realist Ontology of Cognitive Processes.David Kasmier, David Limbaugh & Barry Smith - 2019 - In Proceedings of the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO), University at Buffalo, NY.
    What follows is a first step towards an ontology of conscious mental processes. We provide a theoretical foundation and characterization of conscious mental processes based on a realist theory of intentionality and using BFO as our top-level ontology. We distinguish three components of intentional mental process: character, directedness, and objective referent, and describe several features of the process character and directedness significant to defining and classifying mental processes. We arrive at the definition of representational mental process as a process that (...)
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  2. 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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  3. Placement, Grounding, and Mental Content.Kelly Trogdon - 2015 - In C. Daly (ed.), Palgrave Handbook on Philosophical Methods. New York, NY, USA: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 481-496.
    Grounding-theoretic reformulation of Fodor's theory of content that addresses recalcitrant Quinean concerns.
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  4. Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337.
    This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
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  5. 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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  6. Pieces of a Theory.Barry Smith & Kevin Mulligan - 1982 - In Parts and Moments: Studies in Logic and Formal Ontology. Munich: Philosophia Verlag. pp. 15-109.
    A survey of theories of part, whole and dependence from Aristotle to the Gestalt psychologists, with special attention to Husserl’s Third Logical Investigation “On the Theory of Parts and Wholes”.
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  7. 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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  8. 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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Causal Accounts of Mental Content, Misc
  1. Review of A Mark of the Mental. [REVIEW]Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (3):378-385.
    Karen Neander's A Mark of the Mental is a noteworthy and novel contribution to the long-running project of naturalizing intentionality. The aim of the book is to “solve the part of Brentano’s problem that is within reach” (3). Brentano's problem is the problem of explaining intentionality; the part of this problem that is supposedly within reach is that of explaining nonconceptual sensory-perceptual intentionality; and Neander aims to solve it via an informational teleosemantic theory. In this review, we provide a chapter-by-chapter (...)
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  2. Precis of The Emotional Mind (2018).Tom Cochrane - manuscript
    This is a precis of The Emotional Mind (2018, Cambridge University Press), summarising the key claims of the book chapter by chapter. It covers the theories of mental content (valent representation), pleasure and pain, emotions, emotional bodily feelings, social emotions, the relationship between reason and emotion, the model of character, and the general model of mental architecture presented in the book.
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  3. O livre-arbítrio e outras questões incômodas ao fisicalismo.Daniel P. Nunes & Everaldo Cescon - 2016 - Tábano 12 (1):61-70.
    Este artigo pretende caracterizar de forma geral os posicionamentos fisicalistas na filosofia da mente e indicar como a questão do livre-arbítrio surge e pode ser crucial para tal corrente de pensamento. Primeiramente pretende mostrar a diferença entre a posição reducionista e a não-reducionista e depois salientar suas potencialidades e dificuldades na abordagem da questão do livre-arbítrio. Enfim, mesmo que a questão ainda fique em aberto, verificar-se-á que o livre-arbítrio parece não encontrar espaço no cenário apresentado pelas correntes fisicalistas.
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  4. 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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  5. Satisfaction Conditions in Anticipatory Mechanisms.Marcin Miłkowski - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):709-728.
    The purpose of this paper is to present a general mechanistic framework for analyzing causal representational claims, and offer a way to distinguish genuinely representational explanations from those that invoke representations for honorific purposes. It is usually agreed that rats are capable of navigation because they maintain a cognitive map of their environment. Exactly how and why their neural states give rise to mental representations is a matter of an ongoing debate. I will show that anticipatory mechanisms involved in rats’ (...)
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  6. Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337.
    This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
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  7. Intentionality and Partial Belief.Weng Hong Tang - 2014 - Synthese 191 (7).
    Suppose we wish to provide a naturalistic account of intentionality. Like several other philosophers, we focus on the intentionality of belief, hoping that we may later supplement our account to accommodate other intentional states like desires and fears. Now suppose that we also take partial beliefs or credences seriously. In cashing out our favoured theory of intentionality, we may for the sake of simplicity talk as if belief is merely binary or all-or-nothing. But we should be able to supplement or (...)
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  8. 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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