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Mental Representation and Closely Conflated Topics

Dissertation, Princeton University (2010)

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  1. Relational Vs Adverbial Conceptions of Phenomenal Intentionality.David Bourget - 2019 - In Arthur Sullivan (ed.), Sensations, Thoughts, Language: Essays in honor of Brian Loar. Routledge. pp. 137-166.
    This paper asks whether phenomenal intentionality (intentionality that arises from phenomenal consciousness alone) has a relational structure of the sort envisaged in Russell’s theory of acquaintance. I put forward three arguments in favor of a relation view: one phenomenological, one linguistic, and one based on the view’s ability to account for the truth conditions of phenomenally intentional states. I then consider several objections to the relation view. The chief objection to the relation view takes the form of a dilemma between (...)
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  • Tracking Representationalism.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2014 - In Andrew Bailey (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum. pp. 209-235.
    This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
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  • The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):285-318.
    One sometimes believes a proposition without grasping it. For example, a complete achromat might believe that ripe tomatoes are red without grasping this proposition. My aim in this paper is to shed light on the difference between merely believing a proposition and grasping it. I focus on two possible theories of grasping: the inferential theory, which explains grasping in terms of inferential role, and the phenomenal theory, which explains grasping in terms of phenomenal consciousness. I argue that the phenomenal theory (...)
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  • Consciousness and Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 560-585.
    Philosophers traditionally recognize two main features of mental states: intentionality and phenomenal consciousness. To a first approximation, intentionality is the aboutness of mental states, and phenomenal consciousness is the felt, experiential, qualitative, or "what it's like" aspect of mental states. In the past few decades, these features have been widely assumed to be distinct and independent. But several philosophers have recently challenged this assumption, arguing that intentionality and consciousness are importantly related. This article overviews the key views on the relationship (...)
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  • Propositional Attitudes as Self-Ascriptions.Angela Mendelovici - 2020 - In Luis R. G. Oliveira & Kevin Corcoran (eds.), Common Sense Metaphysics: Themes From the Philosophy of Lynne Rudder Baker. Oxford, UK: Routledge. pp. 54-74.
    According to Lynne Rudder Baker’s Practical Realism, we know that we have beliefs, desires, and other propositional attitudes independent of any scientific investigation. Propositional attitudes are an indispensable part of our everyday conception of the world and not in need of scientific validation. This paper asks what is the nature of the attitudes such that we may know them so well from a commonsense perspective. I argue for a self-ascriptivist view, on which we have propositional attitudes in virtue of ascribing (...)
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  • How Reliably Misrepresenting Olfactory Experiences Justify True Beliefs.Angela Mendelovici - 2020 - In Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Gatzia (eds.), The Epistemology of Non-visual Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 99-117.
    This chapter argues that olfactory experiences represent either everyday objects or ad hoc olfactory objects as having primitive olfactory properties, which happen to be uninstantiated. On this picture, olfactory experiences reliably misrepresent: they falsely represent everyday objects or ad hoc objects as having properties they do not have, and they misrepresent in the same way on multiple occasions. One might worry that this view is incompatible with the plausible claim that olfactory experiences at least sometimes justify true beliefs about the (...)
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  • Propositionalism Without Propositions, Objectualism Without Objects.Angela Mendelovici - 2018 - In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford, UK: Oxford, UK. pp. 214-233.
    Propositionalism is the view that all intentional states are propositional states, which are states with a propositional content, while objectualism is the view that at least some intentional states are objectual states, which are states with objectual contents, such as objects, properties, and kinds. This paper argues that there are two distinct ways of understanding propositionalism and objectualism: (1) as views about the deep nature of the contents of intentional states, and (2) as views about the superficial character of the (...)
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  • Brentano and the Parts of the Mental: A Mereological Approach to Phenomenal Intentionality.Arnaud Dewalque - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):447-464.
    In this paper, I explore one particular dimension of Brentano’s legacy, namely, his theory of mental analysis. This theory has received much less attention in recent literature than the intentionality thesis or the theory of inner perception. However, I argue that it provides us with substantive resources in order to conceptualize the unity of intentionality and phenomenality. My proposal is to think of the connection between intentionality and phenomenality as a certain combination of part/whole relations rather than as a supervenience (...)
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  • Phenomenal Intentionality.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2016 - The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Phenomenal intentionality is a kind of intentionality, or aboutness, that is grounded in phenomenal consciousness, the subjective, experiential feature of certain mental states. The phenomenal intentionality theory (PIT), is a theory of intentionality according to which there is phenomenal intentionality, and all other kinds of intentionality at least partly derive from it. In recent years, PIT has increasingly been seen as one of the main approaches to intentionality.
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  • Why Tracking Theories Should Allow for Clean Cases of Reliable Misrepresentation.Angela Mendelovici - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (42):57-92.
    Reliable misrepresentation is getting things wrong in the same way all the time. In Mendelovici 2013, I argue that tracking theories of mental representation cannot allow for certain kinds of reliable misrepresentation, and that this is a problem for those views. Artiga 2013 defends teleosemantics from this argument. He agrees with Mendelovici 2013 that teleosemantics cannot account for clean cases of reliable misrepresentation, but argues that this is not a problem for the views. This paper clarifies and improves the argument (...)
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  • Phenomenal Intentionality: Reductionism Vs. Primitivism.Philip Woodward - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (5):606-627.
    This paper explores the relationship between phenomenal properties and intentional properties. In recent years a number of philosophers have argued that intentional properties are sometimes necessitated by phenomenal properties, but have not explained why or how. Exceptions can be found in the work of Katalin Farkas and Farid Masrour, who develop versions of reductionism regarding phenomenally-necessitated intentionality (or "phenomenal intentionality"). I raise two objections to reductive theories of the sort they develop. Then I propose a version of primitivism regarding phenomenal (...)
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  • Phenomenal Dispositions.Henry Ian Schiller - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):3969-3980.
    In this paper, I argue against a dispositional account of the intentionality of belief states that has been endorsed by proponents of phenomenal intentionality. Specifically, I argue that the best characterization of a dispositional account of intentionality is one that takes beliefs to be dispositions to undergo occurrent judgments. I argue that there are cases where an agent believes that p, but fails to have a disposition to judge that p.
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  • Immediate and Reflective Senses.Angela Mendelovici - 2019 - In Dena Shottenkirk, Manuel Curado & Steven Gouveia (eds.), Perception, Cognition, and Aesthetics. New York: Routledge. pp. 187-209.
    This paper argues that there are two distinct kinds of senses, immediate senses and reflective senses. Immediate senses are what we are immediately aware of when we are in an intentional mental state, while reflective senses are what we understand of an intentional mental state's (putative) referent upon reflection. I suggest an account of immediate and reflective senses that is based on the phenomenal intentionality theory, a theory of intentionality in terms of phenomenal consciousness. My focus is on the immediate (...)
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  • 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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  • Outsourcing Concepts: Deference, the Extended Mind, and Expanding Our Epistemic Capacity.Cathal O'Madagain - forthcoming - In J. Adam Carter, Andy Clark, Jesper Kallestrup, Orestis Palermos & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Socially Extended Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    Semantic deference is the apparent phenomenon whereby some of -/- our concepts have their content fixed by the minds of others. The -/- phenomenon is puzzling both in terms of how such concepts are -/- supposed to work, but also in terms of why we should have -/- concepts whose content is fixed by others. Here I argue that if we -/- rethink semantic deference in terms of extended mind reasoning -/- we find answers to both of these questions: the (...)
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  • 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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  • How Can Brains in Vats Experience a Spatial World? A Puzzle for Internalists.Adam Pautz - 2019 - In Blockheads!
    In this chapter, Pautz raises a puzzle about spatial experience for phenomenal internalists like Ned Block. If an accidental, lifelong brain-in-the-void (BIV) should have all the same experiences as you, it would have an experience as of items having various shapes, and be able to acquire concepts of those shapes, despite being cut off from real things with the shapes. Internalists cannot explain this by saying that BIV is presented with Peacocke-style visual field regions having various shapes, because these would (...)
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  • Subjective Normativity and Action Guidance.Andrew Sepielli - 2012 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. II. Oxford University Press.
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  • 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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  • Review of Tim Bayne and Michelle Montague's Cognitive Phenomenology[REVIEW]Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):601-604.
    A review of Cognitive Phenomenology by Tim Bayne and Michelle Montague, with some thoughts on the epistemology of the cognitive phenomenology debate.
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  • The Transparencies and the Opacities of Experience. Intentionalism, Phenomenal Character, and Moods.Davide Bordini - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Milan
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  • Intentionalism About Moods.Angela Mendelovici - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):126-136.
    According to intentionalism, phenomenal properties are identical to, supervenient on, or determined by representational properties. Intentionalism faces a special challenge when it comes to accounting for the phenomenal character of moods. First, it seems that no intentionalist treatment of moods can capture their apparently undirected phenomenology. Second, it seems that even if we can come up with a viable intentionalist account of moods, we would not be able to motivate it in some of the same kinds of ways that intentionalism (...)
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  • Towards a New Feeling Theory of Emotion.Uriah Kriegel - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):420-442.
    According to the old feeling theory of emotion, an emotion is just a feeling: a conscious experience with a characteristic phenomenal character. This theory is widely dismissed in contemporary discussions of emotion as hopelessly naïve. In particular, it is thought to suffer from two fatal drawbacks: its inability to account for the cognitive dimension of emotion (which is thought to go beyond the phenomenal dimension), and its inability to accommodate unconscious emotions (which, of course, lack any phenomenal character). In this (...)
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  • Phenomenal Intentionality.Uriah Kriegel (ed.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Phenomenal intentionality is supposed to be a kind of directedness of the mind onto the world that is grounded in the conscious feel of mental life. This book of new essays explores a number of issues raised by the notion of phenomenal intentionality.
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  • The Phenomenal Intentionality Research Program.Uriah Kriegel - 2013 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Phenomenal Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
    We review some of the work already done around the notion of phenomenal intentionality and propose a way of turning this body of work into a self-conscious research program for understanding intentionality.
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  • Why Are Some Phenomenal Experiences 'Vivid' and Others 'Faint'? Representationalism, Imagery, and Cognitive Phenomenology.David Bourget - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):673-687.
    One central brand of representationalism claims that the specific phenomenal character of an experience is fully determined by its content. A challenge for this view is that cognitive and perceptual experiences sometimes seem to have the same representational content while differing in phenomenal character. In particular, it might seem that one can have faint imagery experiences or conscious thoughts with the same contents as vivid perceptual experiences. This paper argues that such cases never arise, and that they are probably metaphysically (...)
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  • Representationalism, Perceptual Distortion and the Limits of Phenomenal Concepts.David Bourget - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):16-36.
    This paper replies to objections from perceptual distortion against the representationalist thesis that the phenomenal characters of experiences supervene on their intentional contents. It has been argued that some pairs of distorted and undistorted experiences share contents without sharing phenomenal characters, which is incompatible with the supervenience thesis. In reply, I suggest that such cases are not counterexamples to the representationalist thesis because the contents of distorted experiences are always impoverished in some way compared to those of normal experiences. This (...)
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