Teleosemantic modeling of cognitive representations

Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):483-505 (2016)
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Naturalistic theories of representation seek to specify the conditions that must be met for an entity to represent another entity. Although these approaches have been relatively successful in certain areas, such as communication theory or genetics, many doubt that they can be employed to naturalize complex cognitive representations. In this essay I identify some of the difficulties for developing a teleosemantic theory of cognitive representations and provide a strategy for accommodating them: to look into models of signaling in evolutionary game theory. I show how these models can be used to formulate teleosemantics and expand it in new directions.
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