Spread Mind and Causal Theories of Content

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In this paper, I analyze a type of externalist enactivism defended by Riccardo Manzotti. Such radical versions of enactivism are gaining more attention, especially in cognitive science and cognitive robotics. They are radical in that their notion of representation is purely referential, and content is conflated with reference. Manzotti follows in the footsteps of early causal theories of reference that had long been shown to be inadequate. It is commonly known that radical versions of externalism may lead to difficulties with the notion of representation, especially if they cannot help themselves with the notion of syntax. I argue that a type of externalism present in Manzotti’s enactivism may well lead to anti-representationalism.
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Archival date: 2014-11-05
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