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Determinate functions

Noûs 32 (1):54-75 (1998)

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  1. Beyond Black Dots and Nutritious Things: A Solution to the Indeterminacy Problem.Marc Artiga - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    The indeterminacy problem is one of the most prominent objections against naturalistic theories of content. In this essay I present this difficulty and argue that extant accounts are unable to solve it. Then, I develop a particular version of teleosemantics, which I call ’explanation-based teleosemantics’, and show how this outstanding problem can be addressed within the framework of a powerful naturalistic theory.
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  • The Organizational Account of Function is an Etiological Account of Function.Marc Artiga & Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Acta Biotheoretica 64 (2):105-117.
    The debate on the notion of function has been historically dominated by dispositional and etiological accounts, but recently a third contender has gained prominence: the organizational account. This original theory of function is intended to offer an alternative account based on the notion of self-maintaining system. However, there is a set of cases where organizational accounts seem to generate counterintuitive results. These cases involve cross-generational traits, that is, traits that do not contribute in any relevant way to the self-maintenance of (...)
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  • Pains as Reasons.Manolo Martínez - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2261-2274.
    Imperativism is the view that the phenomenal character of the affective component of pains, orgasms, and pleasant or unpleasant sensory experience depends on their imperative intentional content. In this paper I canvass an imperativist treatment of pains as reason-conferring states.
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  • Re-Organizing Organizational Accounts of Function.Marc Artiga - 2011 - Applied Ontology 6 (2):105-124.
    In this paper I discuss a recent theory on functions called Organizational Account. This theory seeks to provide a new definition of function that overcomes the distinction between etiological and dispositional accounts and that could be used in biology as well as in technology. I present a definition of function that I think captures the intuitions of Organizational Accounts and consider several objections.
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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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  • Es Pot Naturalitzar la Intencionalitat?Marc Artiga - 2016 - Quaderns de Filosofia 3 (2).
    Intentionality is a central feature of our understanding of the world. We daily attribute intentional states (like beliefs, desires or perceptual states) to explain the behavior of other agents, and many theories appeal to them to understand more complex notions. Nonetheless, intentional states are puzzling entities. This article explains what intentionality is and why it is so important and problematic at the same time. Secondly, it examines various naturalistic theories, which seek to show that intentionality is compatible with a scientific (...)
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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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  • Teleosemantics and Productivity.Manolo Martinez - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):47-68.
    There has been much discussion of so-called teleosemantic approaches to the naturalization of content. Such discussion, though, has been largely confined to simple, innate mental states with contents such as ?There is a fly here.? Even assuming we can solve the issues that crop up at this stage, an account of the content of human mental states will not get too far without an account of productivity: the ability to entertain indefinitely many thoughts. The best-known teleosemantic theory, Millikan's biosemantics, offers (...)
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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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  • Learning and Selection Processes.Marc Artiga - 2010 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 25 (2):197-209.
    In this paper I defend a teleological explanation of normativity, i. e., I argue that what an organism is supposed to do is determined by its etiological function. In particular, I present a teleological account of the normativity that arises in learning processes, and I defend it from some objections.
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  • How Frogs See the World: Putting Millikan’s Teleosemantics to the Test.Peter Schulte - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):483-496.
    How do frogs represent their prey? This question has been the focus of many debates among proponents of naturalistic theories of content, especially among proponents of teleosemantics. This is because alternative versions of the teleosemantic approach have different implications for the content of frog representations, and it is still controversial which of these content ascriptions (if any) is the most adequate. Theorists often appeal to intuitions here, but this is a dubious strategy. In this paper, I suggest an alternative, empirical (...)
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  • Do ‘Objectivist’ Features of Moral Discourse and Thinking Support Moral Objectivism?Gunnar Björnsson - 2012 - Journal of Ethics 16 (4):367-393.
    Many philosophers think that moral objectivism is supported by stable features of moral discourse and thinking. When engaged in moral reasoning and discourse, people behave ‘as if’ objectivism were correct, and the seemingly most straightforward way of making sense of this is to assume that objectivism is correct; this is how we think that such behavior is explained in paradigmatically objectivist domains. By comparison, relativist, error-theoretic or non-cognitivist accounts of this behavior seem contrived and ad hoc. After explaining why this (...)
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  • New Perspectives on Artifactual and Biological Functions.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Applied Ontology 11 (2):89-102.
    In this essay I introduce the question of artifactual functions in the context of the recent debate on the notion of function. I discuss some of the desiderata a satisfactory account should fulfill and compare them to the desiderata for a theory of biological functions. Finally, within this general framework, I briefly present the three papers included in this volume.
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  • Causal Theories of Mental Content.Fred Adams & Ken Aizawa - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Causal theories of mental content attempt to explain how thoughts can be about things. They attempt to explain how one can think about, for example, dogs. These theories begin with the idea that there are mental representations and that thoughts are meaningful in virtue of a causal connection between a mental representation and some part of the world that is represented. In other words, the point of departure for these theories is that thoughts of dogs are about dogs because dogs (...)
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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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  • Teleological Theories of Mental Content.Karen Neander - 2004 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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