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  1. Structural Representations Do Not Meet the Job Description Challenge.Marco Facchin - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):5479-5508.
    Structural representations are increasingly popular in philosophy of cognitive science. A key virtue they seemingly boast is that of meeting Ramsey's job description challenge. For this reason, structural representations appear tailored to play a clear representational role within cognitive architectures. Here, however, I claim that structural representations do not meet the job description challenge. This is because even our most demanding account of their functional profile is satisfied by at least some receptors, which paradigmatically fail the job description challenge. Hence, (...)
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  • Retiring the “Cinderella View”: The Spinal Cord as an Intrabodily Cognitive Extension.Marco Facchin, Marco Viola & Elia Zanin - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (5):1-25.
    Within the field of neuroscience, it is assumed that the central nervous system is divided into two functionally distinct components: the brain, which does the cognizing, and the spinal cord, which is a conduit of information enabling the brain to do its job. We dub this the “Cinderella view” of the spinal cord. Here, we suggest it should be abandoned. Marshalling recent empirical findings, we claim that the spinal cord is best conceived as an intrabodily cognitive extension: a piece of (...)
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  • Are Generative Models Structural Representations?Marco Facchin - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (2):277-303.
    Philosophers interested in the theoretical consequences of predictive processing often assume that predictive processing is an inferentialist and representationalist theory of cognition. More specifically, they assume that predictive processing revolves around approximated Bayesian inferences drawn by inverting a generative model. Generative models, in turn, are said to be structural representations: representational vehicles that represent their targets by being structurally similar to them. Here, I challenge this assumption, claiming that, at present, it lacks an adequate justification. I examine the only argument (...)
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  • Visual Perception and the Emergence of Minimal Representation.Argyris Arnellos & Alvaro Moreno - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    There is a long-lasting quest of demarcating a minimally representational behavior. Based on neurophysiologically-informed behavioral studies, we argue in detail that one of the simplest cases of organismic behavior based on low-resolution spatial vision–the visually-guided obstacle avoidance in the cubozoan medusa Tripedalia cystophora–implies already a minimal form of representation. We further argue that the characteristics and properties of this form of constancy-employing structural representation distinguish it substantially from putative representational states associated with mere sensory indicators, and we reply to some (...)
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  • Some Dilemmas for an Account of Neural Representation: A Reply to Poldrack.Michael L. Anderson & Heather Champion - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    “The physics of representation” aims to define the word “representation” as used in the neurosciences, argue that such representations as described in neuroscience are related to and usefully illuminated by the representations generated by modern neural networks, and establish that these entities are “representations in good standing”. We suggest that Poldrack succeeds in, exposes some tensions between the broad use of the term in neuroscience and the narrower class of entities that he identifies in the end, and between the meaning (...)
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  • From Representations in Predictive Processing to Degrees of Representational Features.Danaja Rutar, Wanja Wiese & Johan Kwisthout - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (3):461-484.
    Whilst the topic of representations is one of the key topics in philosophy of mind, it has only occasionally been noted that representations and representational features may be gradual. Apart from vague allusions, little has been said on what representational gradation amounts to and why it could be explanatorily useful. The aim of this paper is to provide a novel take on gradation of representational features within the neuroscientific framework of predictive processing. More specifically, we provide a gradual account of (...)
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