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  1. The Normativity of Meaning: Guidance and Justification.Matthew Jones - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):425-443.
    The thesis that meaning is normative has come under much scrutiny of late. However, there are aspects of the view that have received comparatively little critical attention which centre on meaning’s capacity to guide and justify linguistic action. Call such a view ‘justification normativity’. I outline Zalabardo’s account of JN and his corresponding argument against reductive-naturalistic meaning-factualism and argue that the argument presents a genuine challenge to account for the guiding role of meaning in linguistic action. I then present a (...)
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  • Towards a New Kind of Semantic Normativity.Claudine Verheggen - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):410-424.
    Hannah Ginsborg has recently offered a new account of normativity, according to which normative attitudes are essential to the meaningful use of language. The kind of normativity she has in mind –– not semantic but ‘primitive’ — is supposed to help us to avoid the pitfalls of both non-reductionist and reductive dispositionalist theories of meaning. For, according to her, it enables us both to account for meaning in non-semantic terms, which non-reductionism cannot do, and to make room for the normativity (...)
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  • A Representational Account of Olfactory Experience.Clare Batty - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):511-538.
    Much of the philosophical work on perception has focused on vision, with very little discussion of the chemical senses—olfaction and gustation. In this paper, I consider the challenge that olfactory experience presents to upholding a representational view of the sense modalities. Given the phenomenology of olfactory experience, it is difficult to see what a representational view of it would be like. Olfaction, then, presents an important challenge for representational theories to overcome. In this paper, I take on this challenge and (...)
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  • A Representational Account of Olfactory Experience.Clare Batty - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):511-538.
    Seattle rain smelled different from New Orleans rain…. New Orleans rain smelled of sulfur and hibiscus, trumpet metal, thunder, and sweat. Seattle rain, the widespread rain of the Great Northwest, smelled of green ice and sumi ink, of geology and silence and minnow breath.— Tom Robbins, Jitterbug PerfumeMuch of the philosophical literature on perception has focused on vision. This is not surprising, given that vision holds for us a certain prestige. Our visual experience is incredibly rich, offering up a mosaic (...)
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  • Consequences of a Functional Account of Information.Stephen Francis Mann - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-19.
    This paper aims to establish several interconnected points. First, a particular interpretation of the mathematical definition of information, known as the causal interpretation, is supported largely by misunderstandings of the engineering context from which it was taken. A better interpretation, which makes the definition and quantification of information relative to the function of its user, is outlined. The first half of the paper is given over to introducing communication theory and its competing interpretations. The second half explores three consequences of (...)
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  • Norms of Intentionality: Norms That Don’T Guide.Benjamin Jarvis - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):1-25.
    More than ever, it is in vogue to argue that no norms either play a role in or directly follow from the theory of mental content. In this paper, I present an intuitive theory of intentionality (including a theory of mental content) on which norms are constitutive of the intentional properties of attitude and content in order to show that this trend is misguided. Although this theory of intentionality—the teleological theory of intentional representation—does involve a commitment to representational norms, these (...)
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  • The Benefits of Rule Following: A New Account of the Evolution of Desires.Armin W. Schulz - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):595-603.
    A key component of much current research in behavioral ecology, cognitive science, and economics is a model of the mind at least partly based on beliefs and desires. However, despite this prevalence, there are still many open questions concerning both the structure and the applicability of this model. This is especially so when it comes to its ‘desire’ part: in particular, it is not yet entirely clear when and why we should expect organisms to be desire-based—understood so as to imply (...)
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  • The Benefits of Rule Following: A New Account of the Evolution of Desires.Armin W. Schulz - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):595-603.
    A key component of much current research in behavioral ecology, cognitive science, and economics is a model of the mind at least partly based on beliefs and desires. However, despite this prevalence, there are still many open questions concerning both the structure and the applicability of this model. This is especially so when it comes to its ‘desire’ part: in particular, it is not yet entirely clear when and why we should expect organisms to be desire-based—understood so as to imply (...)
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  • Having Know‐How: Intellect, Action, and Recent Work on Ryle's Distinction Between Knowledge‐How and Knowledge‐That.Greg Sax - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):507-530.
    Stanley and Williamson reject Ryle's knowing‐how/knowing‐that distinction charging that it obstructs our understanding of human action. Incorrectly interpreting the distinction to imply that knowledge‐how is non‐propositional, they object that Ryle's argument for it is unsound and linguistic theory contradicts it. I show that they misconstrue the distinction and Ryle's argument. Consequently, their objections fail. On my reading, Ryle's distinction pertains to, not knowledge, but an explanatory gap between explicit and implicit content, and his argument for it is sound. I defend (...)
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  • Malfunctions.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (1):19-38.
    A persistent boast of the historical approach to functions is that functional properties are normative. The claim is that a token trait retains its functional status even when it is defective, diseased, or damaged and consequently unable to perform the relevant task. This is because historical functional categories are defined in terms of some sort of historical success -- success in natural selection, typically -- which imposes a norm upon the performance of descendent tokens. Descendents thus are supposed to perform (...)
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  • A Sellarsian Transcendental Argument Against External World Skepticism.Marin Geier - forthcoming - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism:1-31.
    This paper investigates the relation between what James Conant has called Kantian and Cartesian varieties of skepticism. It is argued that a solution to the most prominent example of a Kantian variety of skepticism, i.e. Kripkensteinian skepticism about rule-following and meaning, can be found in the works of Wilfrid Sellars. It is then argued that, on the basis of that very same solution to the Kantian problematic of rule-following and meaning, a novel argument against external world skepticism can be formulated. (...)
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  • Communities of Judgment : Towards a Teleosemantic Theory of Moral Thought and Discourse.Karl Bergman - 2019 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    This thesis offers a teleosemantic account of moral discourse and judgment. It develops a number of views about the function and content of moral judgments and the nature of moral discourse based on Ruth Millikan’s theory of intentional content and the functions of intentional attitudes. Non-cognitivists in meta-ethics have argued that moral judgments are more akin to desires and other motivational attitudes than to descriptive beliefs. I argue that teleosemantics allows us to assign descriptive content to motivational attitudes and hence (...)
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  • Teleosemantics and Indeterminacy.Manolo Martínez - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):427-453.
    In the first part of the paper, I present a framework for the description and evaluation of teleosemantic theories of intentionality, and use it to argue that several different objections to these theories (the various indeterminacy and adequacy problems) are, in a certain precise sense, manifestations of the same underlying issue. I then use the framework to show that Millikan's biosemantics, her own recent declarations to the contrary notwithtanding, presents indeterminacy. In the second part, I develop a novel teleosemantic proposal (...)
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  • Doxastic Correctness.Pascal Engel - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):199-216.
    Normative accounts of the correctness of belief have often been misconstrued. The norm of truth for belief is a constitutive norm which regulates our beliefs through ideals of reason. I try to show that this kind of account can meet some of the main objections which have been raised against normativism about belief: that epistemic reasons enjoy no exclusivity, that the norm of truth does not guide, and that normativism cannot account for suspension of judgement.
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  • Rule Following: A Pedestrian Approach.Masahiro Yamada - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):283-311.
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  • Bibliography.Ruth Millikan - unknown
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  • Rules Are Laws: An Argument Against Holism.Anne Ruth Mackor - 1998 - Philosophical Explorations 1 (3):215-232.
    In this paper I argue against the holistic claim that the description and explanation of human behaviour is irreducibly social in nature. I focus on the more specific thesis that human behaviour is rule-guided and that 'rule' is an irreducibly social notion. Against this claim I defend a teleofunctional and reductionist view. Following Millikan (1990), who argues that 'rule' can be explicated in functional terms, I extend her argument to cover social rules as well, and argue that rules are laws. (...)
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  • Kripke’s Paradox and the Church–Turing Thesis.Mark D. Sprevak - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):285-295.
    Kripke (1982, Wittgenstein on rules and private language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) presents a rule-following paradox in terms of what we meant by our past use of “plus”, but the same paradox can be applied to any other term in natural language. Many responses to the paradox concentrate on fixing determinate meaning for “plus”, or for a small class of other natural language terms. This raises a problem: how can these particular responses be generalised to the whole of natural language? (...)
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  • 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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  • Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Technology and Mental Mechanisms.Thomas Raleigh - 2018 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 22 (3):447-471.
    This article provides a survey of Wittgenstein’s remarks in which he discusses various kinds of technology. I argue that throughout his career, his use of technological examples displays a thematic unity: technologies are invoked in order to illustrate a certain mechanical conception of the mind. I trace how his use of such examples evolved as his views on the mind and on meaning changed. I also discuss an important and somewhat radical anti-mechanistic strain in his later thought and suggest that (...)
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  • A Naturalistic Account of Content and an Application to Modal Epistemology.Manolo Martínez - 2010 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
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  • (Nonsolipsistic) Conceptual Role Semantics.Gilbert Harman - 1987 - In Ernest LePore (ed.), New Directions in Semantics. London: Academic Press. pp. 55–81.
    CRS says that the meanings of expressions of a language or other symbol system or the contents of mental states are determined and explained by the way symbols are used in thinking. According to CRS one.
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  • The Qua-Problem and Meaning Scepticism.Samuel Douglas - 2018 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 17:71–78.
    When considering potential solutions to meaning-scepticism, Kripke (1982) did not consider a causal-theoretic approach. Kusch (2006) has argued that this is due to the qua-problem. I consider Kusch’s criticism of Maddy (1984) and McGinn (1984) before offering a different way to solve the qua-problem, one that is not susceptible to sceptical attack. If this solution is successful, at least one barrier to using a causal theory to refute Kripke’s scepticism is removed.
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  • Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    How can we think about things in the outside world? There is still no widely accepted theory of how mental representations get their meaning. In light of pioneering research, Nicholas Shea develops a naturalistic account of the nature of mental representation with a firm focus on the subpersonal representations that pervade the cognitive sciences.
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  • Fitness and Function.D. M. Walsh - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):553-574.
    According to historical theories of biological function, a trait's function is determined by natural selection in the past. I argue that, in addition to historical functions, ahistorical functions ought to be recognized. I propose a theory of biological function which accommodates both. The function of a trait is the way it contributes to fitness and fitness can only be determined relative to a selective regime. Therefore, the function of a trait can only be specified relative to a selective regime. Apart (...)
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  • The Best Test Theory of Extension: First Principle(S).Robert D. Rupert - 1999 - Mind and Language 14 (3):321–355.
    This paper presents the leading idea of my doctoral dissertation and thus has been shaped by the reactions of all the members of my thesis committee: Charles Chastain, Walter Edelberg, W. Kent Wilson, Dorothy Grover, and Charles Marks. I am especially grateful for the help of Professors Chastain, Edelberg, and Wilson; each worked closely with me at one stage or another in the development of the ideas contained in the present work. Shorter versions of this paper were presented at the (...)
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  • Belief and Meaning. Essays at the Interface.Michael Esfeld - unknown
    This paper recalls the motivation for a normative account of the conceptual content of our beliefs, namely the problem of rule-following. It employs Brandom’s social, inferential semantics as a paradigmatic example of such an account of conceptual content. The conceptual content of our beliefs – and the meaning of the sentences that we use – is normative in the sense that it is determined by social, normative practices. Nevertheless, a description of content and meaning is possible. The paper argues that (...)
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  • Evaluación del razonamiento y la argumentación: procesos competentes, productos correctos y función propia.Fabián Bernache Maldonado - 2018 - Logos: Revista de Lingüística, Filosofía y Literatura 28 (2):308-324.
    Which factors are relevant for the assessment of the exercise of our capacities to reason and argue? And what do these factors reveal about the nature of these capacities? The aim of this paper is to address these questions. In order to do this, we will try to explain, without presupposing the unviable use of sophisticated conceptual capacities, how a person can aim to identify correct reasons or arguments and properly satisfy such purpose. The contribution of our proposal resides in (...)
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  • Wittgenstein's Rule-Following Paradox and the Objectivity of Meaning.Claudine Verheggen - 2003 - Philosophical Investigations 26 (4):285–310.
    Two readings of Wittgenstein's rule-following paradox dominate the literature: either his arguments lead to skepticism, and thus to the view that only a deflated account of meaning is available, or they lead to quietism, and thus to the view that no philosophical account of meaning is called for. I argue, against both these positions, that a proper diagnosis of the paradox points the way towards a constructive, non-sceptical account of meaning.
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  • Inference and Action: Relating Beliefs to the World.Javier Gonzalez De Prado Salas - unknown
    The goal of this dissertation is to offer a practice-based account of intentionality. My aim is to examine what sort of practices agents have to engage in so as to count as talking and thinking about the way the world is – that is, what sort of practices count as representational. Representational practices answer to the way the world is: what is correct within such practices depends on the way things are, rather than on the attitudes of agents. An account (...)
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  • What Sensory Signals Are About.C. L. Elder - 1998 - Analysis 58 (4):273-276.
    In ‘Of Sensory Systems and the “Aboutness” of Mental States’, Kathleen Akins (1996) argues against what she calls ‘the traditional view’ about sensory systems, according to which they are detectors of features in the environment outside the organism. As an antidote, she considers the case of thermoreception, a system whose sensors send signals about how things stand with themselves and their immediate dermal surround (a ‘narcissistic’ sensory system); and she closes by suggesting that the signals from many sensory systems may (...)
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  • General-Purpose Content.Carolyn Price - 2000 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (2):123-133.
    In this paper, I consider the objection, raised by Radu Bogdan, that a teleological theory of content is unable to ascribe content to a general-purpose, doxastic system. I begin by giving some attention to the notion of general-purpose representation, and suggest that this notion can best be understood as what I term "interest-independent" representation. I then outline Bogdan's objection in what I take to be its simplest form. I attempt to counter the objection by explaining how a teleologist might ascribe (...)
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  • Kripke’s Normativity Argument.José L. Zalabardo - 1997 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):467-488.
    In Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, Saul Kripke rejects some of the most popular accounts of what meaning facts consist in on the grounds that they fail to accommodate the normative character of meaning. I argue that a widespread interpretation of Kripke's argument is incorrect. I contend that the argument does not rest on the contrast between descriptive and normative facts, but on the thought that speakers' uses of linguistic expressions have to be justified. I suggest that the line (...)
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  • Briggs on Antirealist Accounts of Scientific Law.John Halpin - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3439–3449.
    Rachel Briggs’ critique of “antirealist” accounts of scientific law— including my own perspectivalist best-system account—is part of a project meant to show that Humean conceptions of scientific law are more problematic than has been commonly realized. Indeed, her argument provides a new challenge to the Humean, a thoroughly epistemic version of David Lewis’ “big, bad bug” for Humeanism. Still, I will argue, the antirealist (perspectivalist and expressivist) accounts she criticizes have the resources to withstand the challenge and come out stronger (...)
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  • Agar's Review of Katz. [REVIEW]Nicholas Agar - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):123-139.
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  • Teleosemantics and the Troubles of Naturalism.Steven J. Wagner - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 82 (1):81-110.
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  • The Metaphysics of Rule-Following.Markus E. Schlosser - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (3):345-369.
    This paper proposes a causal-dispositional account of rule-following as it occurs in reasoning and intentional agency. It defends this view against Kripke’s (1982) objection to dispositional accounts of rule-following, and it proposes a solution to the problem of deviant causal chains. In the first part, I will outline the causal-dispositional approach. In the second part, I will follow Martin and Heil’s (1998) realist response to Kripke’s challenge. I will propose an account that distinguishes between two kinds of rule-conformity and two (...)
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  • Living with Autism: Quus-Ing in a Plus-Ers World.Daniel A. Wilkenfeld - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (1):53-68.
    In this paper, I explore the possibility that the point Kripke made about understanding meaning also applies to understanding social interaction. This understanding involves extending what one has learned from a finite number of past observations to provide normative guidance for an indefinitely complicated future. Kripke argues that what one should do in the future is inevitably underdetermined by the infinite possible interpretations of the past. Moreover, no matter how much one attempts to make the rules explicit, they will always (...)
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  • Animal Concepts: Content and Discontent.Nick Chater & Cecilia Heyes - 1994 - Mind and Language 9 (3):209-246.
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  • Indication and Adaptation.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1992 - Synthese 92 (2):283-312.
    This paper examines the relationship between a family of concepts involving reliable correlation, and a family of concepts involving adaptation and biological function, as these concepts are used in the naturalistic semantic theory of Dretske's "Explaining Behavior." I argue that Dretske's attempt to marry correlation and function to produce representation fails, though aspects of his failure point the way forward to a better theory.
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  • Evolutionary Explanations of Human Behaviour.Kim Sterelny - 1992 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (2):156 – 173.
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  • Explaining How to Perceive the New: Causal-Informational Teleosemantics and Productive Response Functions.Fabian Hundertmark - forthcoming - Synthese:1-16.
    According to Karen Neander’s causal-informational teleosemantics, the contents of perceptual states depend on the etiological response functions of sensory-perceptual systems. In this paper, I argue that this theory is, despite its virtues, unable to explain how humans and other animals are capable of perceiving properties with which no sensory-perceptual system has ever been confronted. After rejecting Neander’s own proposal in terms of second-order similarity and a proposal inspired by Ruth Millikan in terms of simplicity, I offer a solution which equates (...)
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  • Simplicity and Elegance in Millikan’s Account of Productivity: Reply to Martinez.Brian Leahy - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):503-516.
    This paper responds to a problem, raised by Martinez, for Millikan’s explanation of the interpretability of novel signs in terms of mapping functions. I argue that Martinez’s critique is a logically weakened version of Kripke’s skeptical argument about rule following. Responding to Martinez requires two things. First, we must correctly understand the role of simplicity and elegance in choosing the correct mapping function for a signaling system. Second, we need to understand that mapping functions are descriptions of the features that (...)
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  • Le pragmatisme en sémantique et en épistémologie contemporaines.Michael Esfeld - 2005 - Philosophia Scientiae 9 (1):31-47.
    The aim of this paper is to sketch out a conception of how a pragmatist theory can account for the determination of the conceptual content of our beliefs. The first part explains the motivation for a pragmatist theory of conceptual content — namely, to overcome the problem of rule-following. The second part introduces the idea of an inferential semantics. The third part offers a reconstruction of how social practices determine conceptual content and discusses the kind of theory of content and (...)
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  • II—Meaning, Justification, and‘Primitive Normativity’.Adrian Haddock - 2012 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 86 (1):147-174.
    I critically discuss two claims which Hannah Ginsborg makes on behalf of her account of meaning in terms of ‘primitive normativity’: first, that it avoids the sceptical regress articulated by Kripke's Wittgenstein; second, that it makes sense of the thought—central to Kripke's Wittgenstein—that ‘meaning is normative’, in a way which shows this thought not only to be immune from recent criticisms but also to undermine reductively naturalistic theories of content. In the course of the discussion, I consider and attempt to (...)
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  • How the Radically Interpreted Make Mistakes.Anthony Dardis - 1994 - Dialogue 33 (3):415-.
    Meaning involves normativity: a word has a meaning only if some of its uses are correct and some are incorrect. A full understanding of meaning demands an account of the normativity of meaning. One such account has it that the normativity of meaning stems from conventions for the use of words. Donald Davidson argues that communication does not require linguistic conventions. Ian Hacking has objected to Davidson's theory of meaning on the ground that Davidson is unable to allow for the (...)
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  • Intentionality and Modern Philosophical Psychology, III. The Appeal to Teleology.William Lyons - 1992 - Philosophical Psychology 5 (3):309-326.
    This article is the sequel to 'Intentionality and Modern philosophical psychology, I. The modern reduction of intentionality,' (Philosophical Psychology, 3 (2), 1990) which examined the view of intentionality pioneered by Carnap and reaching its apotheosis in the work of Daniel Dennett. In 'Intentionality and modem philosophical psychology, II. The return to representation' (Philosophical Psychology, 4(1), 1991) I examined the approach to intentionality which can be traced back to the work of Noam Chomsky but which has been given its canonical treatment (...)
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  • Misrepresenting & Malfunctioning.Karen Neander - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 79 (2):109-141.
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  • Teleosemantics: Etiological Foundations.Sören Häggqvist - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (1):73-83.
    Teleosemantics is a naturalistic research programme in the philosophy of mind and language. Its ambition is to achieve a reduction, first, of mental content to teleological function; second, of teleological function to non‐teleological notions. This article explores the second step, particularly as envisaged by Millikan’s etiological theory of function.
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  • Mental Representations: What Philosophy Leaves Out and Neuroscience Puts In.Anne Jaap Jacobson - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):189-204.
    This paper investigates how "representation" is actually used in some areas in cognitive neuroscience. It is argued that recent philosophy has largely ignored an important kind of representation that differs in interesting ways from the representations that are standardly recognized in philosophy of mind. This overlooked kind of representation does not represent by having intentional contents; rather members of the kind represent by displaying or instantiating features. The investigation is not simply an ethnographic study of the discourse of neuroscientists. If (...)
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