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  1. Teleosemantics, Infotel-Semantics and Circularity.Marc Artiga - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):583-603.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith and Nicholas Shea have argued that standard versions of teleosemantics render explanations of successful behavior by appealing to true beliefs circular and, consequently, non-explanatory. As an alternative, Shea has recently suggested an original teleosemantic account (that he calls ?Infotel-semantics?), which is supposed to be immune to the problem of circularity. The paper argues that the standard version of teleosemantics has a satisfactory reply to the circularity objection and that, in any case, Infotel-semantics is not better off than standard (...)
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  • A Role for Representations in Inflexible Behavior.Todd Ganson - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (4):1-18.
    Representationalists have routinely expressed skepticism about the idea that inflexible responses to stimuli are to be explained in representational terms. Representations are supposed to be more than just causal mediators in the chain of events stretching from stimulus to response, and it is difficult to see how the sensory states driving reflexes are doing more than playing the role of causal intermediaries. One popular strategy for distinguishing representations from mere causal mediators is to require that representations are decoupled from specific (...)
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  • Internal Perspectivalism: The Solution to Generality Problems About Proper Function and Natural Norms.Jason Winning - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (33):1-22.
    In this paper, I argue that what counts as the proper function of a trait is a matter of the de facto perspective that the biological system, itself, possesses on what counts as proper functioning for that trait. Unlike non-perspectival accounts, internal perspectivalism does not succumb to generality problems. But unlike external perspectivalism, internal perspectivalism can provide a fully naturalistic, mind-independent grounding of proper function and natural norms. The attribution of perspectives to biological systems is intended to be neither metaphorical (...)
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  • Evolutionary Psychiatry and Nosology: Prospects and Limitations.Luc Faucher - 2012 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7.
    In this paper, I explain why evolutionary psychiatry is not where the next revolution in psychiatry will come from. I will proceed as follows. Firstly, I will review some of the problems commonly attributed to current nosologies, more specifically to the DSM. One of these problems is the lack of a clear and consensual definition of mental disorder; I will then examine specific attempts to spell out such a definition that use the evolutionary framework. One definition that deserves particular attention, (...)
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  • Greatest Surprise Reduction Semantics: An Information Theoretic Solution to Misrepresentation and Disjunction.D. E. Weissglass - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2185-2205.
    Causal theories of content, a popular family of approaches to defining the content of mental states, commonly run afoul of two related and serious problems that prevent them from providing an adequate theory of mental content—the misrepresentation problem and the disjunction problem. In this paper, I present a causal theory of content, built on information theoretic tools, that solves these problems and provides a viable model of mental content. This is the greatest surprise reduction theory of content, which identifies the (...)
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  • Descartes on the Passions: Function, Representation, and Motivation.Sean Greenberg - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):714–734.
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  • Metaethics, Teleosemantics and the Function of Moral Judgements.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):639-662.
    This paper applies the theory of teleosemantics to the issue of moral content. Two versions of teleosemantics are distinguished: input-based and output-based. It is argued that applying either to the case of moral judgements generates the conclusion that such judgements have both descriptive (belief-like) and directive (desire-like) content, intimately entwined. This conclusion directly validates neither descriptivism nor expressivism, but the application of teleosemantics to moral content does leave the descriptivist with explanatory challenges which the expressivist does not face. Since teleosemantics (...)
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  • What has Natural Information to Do with Intentional Representation?Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2001 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 49:105-125.
    ‘According to informational semantics, if it's necessary that a creature can't distinguish Xs from Ys, it follows that the creature can't have a concept that applies to Xs but not Ys.’ There is, indeed, a form of informational semantics that has this verificationist implication. The original definition of information given in Dretske'sKnowledge and the Flow of Information, when employed as a base for a theory of intentional representation or ‘content,’ has this implication. I will argue that, in fact, most of (...)
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  • Content is Pragmatic: Comments on Nicholas Shea's Representation in Cognitive Science.Frances Egan - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (3):368-376.
    Nicholas Shea offers Varitel Semantics as a naturalistic account of mental content. I argue that the account secures determinate content only by appeal to pragmatic considerations, and so it fails to respect naturalism. But that is fine, because representational content is not, strictly speaking, necessary for explanation in cognitive science. Even in Shea’s own account, content serves only a variety of heuristic functions.
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  • Causal Theories of Mental Content.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (2):353–380.
    Causal theories of mental content (CTs) ground certain aspects of a concept's meaning in the causal relations a concept bears to what it represents. Section 1 explains the problems CTs are meant to solve and introduces terminology commonly used to discuss these problems. Section 2 specifies criteria that any acceptable CT must satisfy. Sections 3, 4, and 5 critically survey various CTs, including those proposed by Fred Dretske, Jerry Fodor, Ruth Garrett Millikan, David Papineau, Dennis Stampe, Dan Ryder, and the (...)
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  • Rescuing Tracking Theories of Morality.Marc Artiga - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3357-3374.
    Street’s :109–166, 2006) Darwinian Dilemma purports to show that evolutionary considerations are in tension with realist theories of value, which include moral realism. According to this argument, moral realism can only be defended by assuming an implausible tracking relation between moral attitudes and moral facts. In this essay, I argue that this tracking relation is not as implausible as most people have assumed by showing that the three main objections against it are flawed. Since this is a key premise in (...)
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  • Genetic Information About Phenotype: A Teleosemantic Point of View表現型についての遺伝情報は存在するのか.Tomoko Ishida - 2020 - Journal of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 47 (2):59-79.
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  • Quantum Gravity, Timelessness, and the Contents of Thought.David Braddon-Mitchell & Kristie Miller - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1807-1829.
    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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  • 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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  • Thoughts and Oughts.Mason Cash - 2008 - Philosophical Explorations 11 (2):93 – 119.
    Many now accept the thesis that norms are somehow constitutively involved in people's contentful intentional states. I distinguish three versions of this normative thesis that disagree about the type of norms constitutively involved. Are they objective norms of correctness, subjective norms of rationality, or intersubjective norms of social practices? I show the advantages of the third version, arguing that it improves upon the other two versions, as well as incorporating their principal insights. I then defend it against two serious challenges: (...)
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  • Functions and Fixed Types: Biological and Other Functions in the Post-Adaptationist Era.Ulrich Krohs - 2011 - Applied Ontology 6 (2):125-139.
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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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  • 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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  • Schizophrenia and the Dysfunctional Brain.Justin Garson - 2010 - Journal of Cognitive Science 11:215-246.
    Scientists, philosophers, and even the lay public commonly accept that schizophrenia stems from a biological or internal ‘dysfunction.’ However, this assessment is typically accompanied neither by well-defined criteria for determining that something is dysfunctional nor empirical evidence that schizophrenia satisfies those criteria. In the following, a concept of biological function is developed and applied to a neurobiological model of schizophrenia. It concludes that current evidence does not warrant the claim that schizophrenia stems from a biological dysfunction, and, in fact, that (...)
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  • Chomsky, Cognitive Science, Naturalism and Internalism.Pierre Jacob - unknown
    I explore Chomsky's naturalistic stance in cognitive science, his internalism in semantics and his attitude towards evolutionary assumptions.
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  • Bibliography.Ruth Millikan - unknown
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  • A Verisimilitudinarian Analysis of the Linda Paradox.Gustavo Cevolani, Vincenzo Crupi & Roberto Festa - 2012 - VII Conference of the Spanish Society for Logic, Methodology and Philosphy of Science.
    The Linda paradox is a key topic in current debates on the rationality of human reasoning and its limitations. We present a novel analysis of this paradox, based on the notion of verisimilitude as studied in the philosophy of science. The comparison with an alternative analysis based on probabilistic confirmation suggests how to overcome some problems of our account by introducing an adequately defined notion of verisimilitudinarian confirmation.
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  • Truth and Words.M. Kac - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):380-388.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  • Genetic Information Carried by Genes: From a Teleosemantic Point of View遺伝子の運ぶ遺伝情報.Tomoko Ishida - 2018 - Journal of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 46 (1):11-31.
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  • Delusions as Harmful Malfunctioning Beliefs.Kengo Miyazono - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:561-573.
    Delusional beliefs are typically pathological. Being pathological is clearly distinguished from being false or being irrational. Anna might falsely believe that his husband is having an affair but it might just be a simple mistake. Again, Sam might irrationally believe, without good evidence, that he is smarter than his colleagues, but it might just be a healthy self-deceptive belief. On the other hand, when a patient with brain damage caused by a car accident believes that his father was replaced by (...)
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  • Defining Dysfunction: Natural Selection, Design, and Drawing a Line.Peter H. Schwartz - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (3):364-385.
    Accounts of the concepts of function and dysfunction have not adequately explained what factors determine the line between low‐normal function and dysfunction. I call the challenge of doing so the line‐drawing problem. Previous approaches emphasize facts involving the action of natural selection (Wakefield 1992a, 1999a, 1999b) or the statistical distribution of levels of functioning in the current population (Boorse 1977, 1997). I point out limitations of these two approaches and present a solution to the line‐drawing problem that builds on the (...)
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  • Comment on Ryder's SINBAD Neurosemantics: Is Teleofunction Isomorphism the Way to Understand Representations?Marius Usher - 2004 - Mind and Language 19 (2):241-248.
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  • The Phenomena of Homology.Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):643-658.
    Philosophical discussions of biological classification have failed to recognise the central role of homology in the classification of biological parts and processes. One reason for this is a misunderstanding of the relationship between judgments of homology and the core explanatory theories of biology. The textbook characterisation of homology as identity by descent is commonly regarded as a definition. I suggest instead that it is one of several attempts to explain the phenomena of homology. Twenty years ago the ‘new experimentalist’ movement (...)
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  • Physicalism and the Fallacy of Composition.Crawford L. Elder - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (200):332-43.
    A mutation alters the hemoglobin in some members of a species of antelope, and as a result the members fare better at high altitudes than their conspecifics do; so high-altitude foraging areas become open to them that are closed to their conspecifics; they thrive, reproduce at a greater rate, and the gene for altered hemoglobin spreads further through the gene pool of the species. That sounds like a classic example (owed to Karen Neander, 1995) of a causal chain traced by (...)
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  • Tolerant Enactivist Cognitive Science.Thomas Raleigh - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):226-244.
    Enactivist (Embodied, Embedded, etc.) approaches in cognitive science and philosophy of mind are sometimes, though not always, conjoined with an anti-representational commitment. A weaker anti-representational claim is that ascribing representational content to internal/sub-personal processes is not compulsory when giving psychological explanations. A stronger anti-representational claim is that the very idea of ascribing representational content to internal/sub-personal processes is a theoretical confusion. This paper criticises some of the arguments made by Hutto & Myin (2013, 2017) for the stronger anti-representational claim and (...)
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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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  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science Since 1980.Elizabeth Schier & John Sutton - 2014 - In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), History of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. New York: Springer.
    If Australasian philosophers constitute the kind of group to which a collective identity or broadly shared self-image can plausibly be ascribed, the celebrated history of Australian materialism rightly lies close to its heart. Jack Smart’s chapter in this volume, along with an outstanding series of briefer essays in A Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand (Forrest 2010; Gold 2010; Koksvik 2010; Lycan 2010; Matthews 2010; Nagasawa 2010; Opie 2010; Stoljar 2010a), effectively describe the naturalistic realism of Australian philosophy (...)
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  • There is No Asymmetry of Identity Assumptions in the Debate Over Selection and Individuals.Casey Helgeson - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (1):21-31.
    A long-running dispute concerns which adaptation-related explananda natural selection can be said to explain. At issue are explananda of the form: why a given individual organism has a given adaptation rather than that same individual having another trait. It is broadly agreed that one must be ready to back up a “no” answer with an appropriate theory of trans-world identity for individuals. I argue, against the conventional wisdom, that the same is true for a “yes” answer. My conclusion recasts the (...)
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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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  • Constancy Mechanisms and the Normativity of Perception.Zed Adams & Chauncey Maher - 2017 - In Zed Adams & Jacob Browning (eds.), Giving a Damn: Essays in Dialogue with John Haugeland. Cambridge, MA: MIT Pres.
    In this essay, we draw on John Haugeland’s work in order to argue that Burge is wrong to think that exercises of perceptual constancy mechanisms suffice for perceptual representation. Although Haugeland did not live to read or respond to Burge’s Origins of Objectivity, we think that his work contains resources that can be developed into a critique of the very foundation of Burge’s approach. Specifically, we identify two related problems for Burge. First, if (what Burge calls) mere sensory responses are (...)
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  • Fictional Persuasion and the Nature of Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2017 - In Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Helen Bradley & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Art and Belief. Oxford University Press. pp. 174-193.
    Psychological studies on fictional persuasion demonstrate that being engaged with fiction systematically affects our beliefs about the real world, in ways that seem insensitive to the truth. This threatens to undermine the widely accepted view that beliefs are essentially regulated in ways that tend to ensure their truth, and may tempt various non-doxastic interpretations of the belief-seeming attitudes we form as a result of engaging with fiction. I evaluate this threat, and argue that it is benign. Even if the relevant (...)
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  • Function and Self-Constitution: How to Make Something of Yourself Without Being All That You Can Be. A Commentary on Christine Korsgaard's The Constitution of Agency and Self-Constitution.A. Barandalla & M. Ridge - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):364-380.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  • Intentionality, Belief, and the Logical Problem of Evil.Kenneth L. Pearce - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-17.
    This paper provides a new defence against the logical problem of evil, based on the naturalistic functional/teleological theory of mind (NFT). I argue that if the NFT is self-consistent then it is consistent with theism. Further, the NFT entails that it is not possible for created minds to exist in the absence of evil. It follows that if the NFT is self-consistent then the existence of God is consistent with the existence of evil.
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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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  • A New Map of Theories of Mental Content: Constitutive Accounts and Normative Theories.Mark Greenberg - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):299-320.
    In this paper, I propose a new way of understanding the space of possibilities in the field of mental content. The resulting map assigns separate locations to theories of content that have generally been lumped together on the more traditional map. Conversely, it clusters together some theories of content that have typically been regarded as occupying opposite poles. I make my points concrete by developing a taxonomy of theories of mental content, but the main points of the paper concern not (...)
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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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  • Proper Activity, Preference, and the Meaning of Life.Lucas J. Mix - 2014 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 6 (20150505).
    The primary challenge for generating a useful scientific definition of life comes from competing concepts of biological activity and our failure to make them explicit in our models. I set forth a three-part scheme for characterizing definitions of life, identifying a binary , a range , and a preference . The three components together form a proper activity in biology . To be clear, I am not proposing that proper activity be adopted as the best definition of life or even (...)
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  • Propositional Content in Signalling Systems.Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):493-512.
    Skyrms, building on the work of Dretske, has recently developed a novel information-theoretic account of propositional content in simple signalling systems. Information-theoretic accounts of content traditionally struggle to accommodate the possibility of misrepresentation, and I show that Skyrms’s account is no exception. I proceed to argue, however, that a modified version of Skyrms’s account can overcome this problem. On my proposed account, the propositional content of a signal is determined not by the information that it actually carries, but by the (...)
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  • Source and Channel in the Informational Theory of Mental Content.Max Kistler - 2000 - Facta Philosophica 2 (2):213-36.
    With the aim of giving a naturalistic foundation to the notion of mental representation, Fred Dretske (1981;1988) has put forward and developed the idea that the relation between a representation and its intentional content is grounded on an informational relation. In this explanatory model, mental representations are conceived of as states of organisms which a learning process has selected to play a functional role: a necessary condition for fulfilling this role is that the organism or some proper part of it (...)
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  • Solely Generic Phenomenology.Ned Block - 2015 - Open MIND 2015.
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  • Why Function Indeterminacy is Still a Problem for Biomedicine, and How Seeing Functional Items as Components of Mechanisms Can Solve It.Justin Garson - unknown
    During the 1990s, many philosophers wrestled with the problem of function indeterminacy. Although interest in the problem has waned, I argue that solving the problem is of value for biomedical research and practice. This is because a solution to the problem is required in order to specify rigorously the conditions under which a given item is “dysfunctional.” In the following I revisit a solution developed originally by Neander, which uses functional analysis to solve the problem. I situate her solution in (...)
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  • On the Theoretical Motivation for Positing Etiological Functions.Björn Brunnander - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):371-390.
    It is a plain fact that biology makes use of terms and expressions commonly spoken of as teleological. Biologists frequently speak of the function of biological items. They may also say that traits are 'supposed to' perform some of their effects, claim that traits are 'for' specific effects, or that organisms have particular traits 'in order to' engage in specific interactions. There is general agreement that there must be something useful about this linguistic practice but it is controversial whether it (...)
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  • The Senses as Signalling Systems.Todd Ganson - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):519-531.
    A central goal of philosophy of perception is to uncover the nature of sensory capacities. Ideally, we would like an account that specifies what conditions need to be met in order for an organism to count as having the capacity to sense or perceive its environment. And on the assumption that sensory states are the kinds of things that can be accurate or inaccurate, a further goal of philosophy of perception is to identify the accuracy conditions for sensory states. In (...)
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  • Teleosemantics and the Epiphenomenality of Content.Eric Saidel - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (sup1):139-166.
    The naturalistically inclined philosopher of mind faces two related challenges: show how mental content could be part of the natural world, and show how content can be one of the factors responsible for producing behaviour, that is, show that content is not epiphenomenal. One might pursue the first goal with the intent of showing that mental content is epiphenomenal, but it is more likely that the philosopher concerned with showing how content can be naturalized also expects content to be causally (...)
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  • Fodor's Information Semantics Between Naturalism and Mentalism.Theo C. Meyering - 1997 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 40 (2):187-207.
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