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Representations gone mental

Synthese 191 (2):213-244 (2014)

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  1. Representaciones mentales, representaciones neutonales y el enigma de la intencionalidad: Acerca de representaciones mentales de Liza Skidelsky.Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2018 - Análisis Filosófico 38 (2):209-220.
    En Representaciones mentales, Liza Skidelsky se propone poner de manifiesto la completa escisión que existe entre los fenómenos de la intencionalidad de los estados mentales y el contenido de las representaciones mentales. Por un lado, la autora defiende una elucidación internista del contenido de las representaciones mentales postuladas por la ciencia cognitiva. Por otro lado, nos propone concebir la intencionalidad como un fenómeno vinculado al lenguaje y a las prácticas comunicativas. Esta reformulación permitiría establecer los cimientos para un proyecto naturalista (...)
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  • Dynamicism, Radical Enactivism, and Representational Cognitive Processes: The Case of Subitization.Misha Ash & Rex Welshon - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-25.
    The role of representational cognitive processes in theories of cognition remains a source of disagreement in philosophy of mind and cognitive neuroscience. These debates are stoked by argum...
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  • A Deflationary Account of Mental Representation.Frances Egan - forthcoming - In Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dolega & Tobias Schlicht (eds.), Mental Representations. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Among the cognitive capacities of evolved creatures is the capacity to represent. Theories in cognitive neuroscience typically explain our manifest representational capacities by positing internal representations, but there is little agreement about how these representations function, especially with the relatively recent proliferation of connectionist, dynamical, embodied, and enactive approaches to cognition. In this talk I sketch an account of the nature and function of representation in cognitive neuroscience that couples a realist construal of representational vehicles with a pragmatic account of (...)
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  • Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Intentionality.Alex Morgan & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):119-139.
    We situate the debate on intentionality within the rise of cognitive neuroscience and argue that cognitive neuroscience can explain intentionality. We discuss the explanatory significance of ascribing intentionality to representations. At first, we focus on views that attempt to render such ascriptions naturalistic by construing them in a deflationary or merely pragmatic way. We then contrast these views with staunchly realist views that attempt to naturalize intentionality by developing theories of content for representations in terms of information and biological function. (...)
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  • Neural Representations Observed.Eric Thomson & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):191-235.
    The historical debate on representation in cognitive science and neuroscience construes representations as theoretical posits and discusses the degree to which we have reason to posit them. We reject the premise of that debate. We argue that experimental neuroscientists routinely observe and manipulate neural representations in their laboratory. Therefore, neural representations are as real as neurons, action potentials, or any other well-established entities in our ontology.
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  • Content Pragmatism Defended.Dimitri Coelho Mollo - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):103-113.
    In the literature on the nature and role of cognitive representation, three positions are taken across the conceptual landscape: robust realism, primitivism, and eliminativism. Recently, a fourth alternative that tries to avoid the shortcomings of traditional views has been proposed: content pragmatism. My aim is to defend pragmatism about content against some recent objections moved against the view. According to these objections, content pragmatism fails to capture the role played by representation in the cognitive sciences; and/or is an unstable view (...)
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  • Structural Representations: Causally Relevant and Different From Detectors.Paweł Gładziejewski & Marcin Miłkowski - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (3):337-355.
    This paper centers around the notion that internal, mental representations are grounded in structural similarity, i.e., that they are so-called S-representations. We show how S-representations may be causally relevant and argue that they are distinct from mere detectors. First, using the neomechanist theory of explanation and the interventionist account of causal relevance, we provide a precise interpretation of the claim that in S-representations, structural similarity serves as a “fuel of success”, i.e., a relation that is exploitable for the representation using (...)
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  • Mechanisms, Wide Functions, and Content: Towards a Computational Pluralism.Jonny Lee - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In recent years, the ‘mechanistic view’ has developed as a popular alternative to the ‘semantic view’ concerning the identity of physical computation. However, semanticists have provided powerful arguments that suggest the mechanistic view fails to deliver essential distinctions between paradigmatic computational operations. This article reviews responses on behalf of the mechanist and uses this opportunity to propose a type of pluralism about computational identity. This pluralism contends that there are multiple ‘levels’ of properties and relations pertaining to computation that can (...)
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  • Investigating Neural Representations: The Tale of Place Cells.William Bechtel - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1287-1321.
    While neuroscientists often characterize brain activity as representational, many philosophers have construed these accounts as just theorists’ glosses on the mechanism. Moreover, philosophical discussions commonly focus on finished accounts of explanation, not research in progress. I adopt a different perspective, considering how characterizations of neural activity as representational contributes to the development of mechanistic accounts, guiding the investigations neuroscientists pursue as they work from an initial proposal to a more detailed understanding of a mechanism. I develop one illustrative example involving (...)
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  • Neural Representations Beyond “Plus X”.Alessio Plebe & Vivian M. De La Cruz - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):93-117.
    In this paper we defend structural representations, more specifically neural structural representation. We are not alone in this, many are currently engaged in this endeavor. The direction we take, however, diverges from the main road, a road paved by the mathematical theory of measure that, in the 1970s, established homomorphism as the way to map empirical domains of things in the world to the codomain of numbers. By adopting the mind as codomain, this mapping became a boon for all those (...)
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  • Structural Representation and the Two Problems of Content.Jonny Lee - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (5):606-626.
    Mind &Language, Volume 34, Issue 5, Page 606-626, November 2019.
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  • The Content of Marr’s Information-Processing Framework.J. Brendan Ritchie - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (7):1078-1099.
    ABSTRACTThe seminal work of David Marr, popularized in his classic work Vision, continues to exert a major influence on both cognitive science and philosophy. The interpretation of his work also co...
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  • Bodily Structure and Body Representation.Adrian J. T. Alsmith - forthcoming - Synthese:1-30.
    This paper is concerned with representational explanations of how one experiences and acts with one’s body as an integrated whole. On the standard view, accounts of bodily experience and action must posit a corresponding representational structure: a representation of the body as an integrated whole. The aim of this paper is to show why we should instead favour the minimal view: given the nature of the body, and representation of its parts, accounts of the structure of bodily experience and action (...)
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  • From Symbols to Icons: The Return of Resemblance in the Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Daniel Williams & Lincoln Colling - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):1941-1967.
    We argue that one important aspect of the “cognitive neuroscience revolution” identified by Boone and Piccinini :1509–1534. doi: 10.1007/s11229-015-0783-4, 2015) is a dramatic shift away from thinking of cognitive representations as arbitrary symbols towards thinking of them as icons that replicate structural characteristics of their targets. We argue that this shift has been driven both “from below” and “from above”—that is, from a greater appreciation of what mechanistic explanation of information-processing systems involves, and from a greater appreciation of the problems (...)
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  • The Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Worth Boone & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1509-1534.
    We outline a framework of multilevel neurocognitive mechanisms that incorporates representation and computation. We argue that paradigmatic explanations in cognitive neuroscience fit this framework and thus that cognitive neuroscience constitutes a revolutionary break from traditional cognitive science. Whereas traditional cognitive scientific explanations were supposed to be distinct and autonomous from mechanistic explanations, neurocognitive explanations aim to be mechanistic through and through. Neurocognitive explanations aim to integrate computational and representational functions and structures across multiple levels of organization in order to explain (...)
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