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  1. Content and Its Vehicles in Connectionist Systems.Nicholas Shea - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (3):246–269.
    This paper advocates explicitness about the type of entity to be considered as content- bearing in connectionist systems; it makes a positive proposal about how vehicles of content should be individuated; and it deploys that proposal to argue in favour of representation in connectionist systems. The proposal is that the vehicles of content in some connectionist systems are clusters in the state space of a hidden layer. Attributing content to such vehicles is required to vindicate the standard explanation for some (...)
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  • Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science.Andy Clark - 2001 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Ranging across both standard philosophical territory and the landscape of cutting-edge cognitive science, Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Second Edition, is a vivid and engaging introduction to key issues, research, and opportunities in the field.Starting with the vision of mindware as software and debates between realists, instrumentalists, and eliminativists, Andy Clark takes students on a no-holds-barred journey through connectionism, dynamical systems, and real-world robotics before moving on to the frontiers of cognitive technologies, enactivism, predictive coding, and (...)
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  • Representations Gone Mental.Alex Morgan - 2014 - Synthese 191 (2):213-244.
    Many philosophers and psychologists have attempted to elucidate the nature of mental representation by appealing to notions like isomorphism or abstract structural resemblance. The ‘structural representations’ that these theorists champion are said to count as representations by virtue of functioning as internal models of distal systems. In his 2007 book, Representation Reconsidered, William Ramsey endorses the structural conception of mental representation, but uses it to develop a novel argument against representationalism, the widespread view that cognition essentially involves the manipulation of (...)
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  • Structural Representation and Surrogative Reasoning.Chris Swoyer - 1991 - Synthese 87 (3):449 - 508.
    It is argued that a number of important, and seemingly disparate, types of representation are species of a single relation, here called structural representation, that can be described in detail and studied in a way that is of considerable philosophical interest. A structural representation depends on the existence of a common structure between a representation and that which it represents, and it is important because it allows us to reason directly about the representation in order to draw conclusions about the (...)
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  • Explaining Cognitive Phenomena with Internal Representations: A Mechanistic Perspective.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2015 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 40 (1):63-90.
    Despite the fact that the notion of internal representation has - at least according to some - a fundamental role to play in the sciences of the mind, not only has its explanatory utility been under attack for a while now, but it also remains unclear what criteria should an explanation of a given cognitive phenomenon meet to count as a representational explanation in the first place. The aim of this article is to propose a solution to this latter problem. (...)
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  • A Sensorimotor Account of Vision and Visual Consciousness.J. Kevin O’Regan & Alva Noë - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):883-917.
    Many current neurophysiological, psychophysical, and psychological approaches to vision rest on the idea that when we see, the brain produces an internal representation of the world. The activation of this internal representation is assumed to give rise to the experience of seeing. The problem with this kind of approach is that it leaves unexplained how the existence of such a detailed internal representation might produce visual consciousness. An alternative proposal is made here. We propose that seeing is a way of (...)
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  • Predictive Minds and Small-Scale Models: Kenneth Craik’s Contribution to Cognitive Science.Daniel Williams - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):245-263.
    I identify three lessons from Kenneth Craik’s landmark book “The Nature of Explanation” for contemporary debates surrounding the existence, extent, and nature of mental representation: first, an account of mental representations as neural structures that function analogously to public models; second, an appreciation of prediction as the central component of intelligence in demand of such models; and third, a metaphor for understanding the brain as an engineer, not a scientist. I then relate these insights to discussions surrounding the representational status (...)
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  • Memento’s Revenge: The Extended Mind, Extended.Andy Clark - 2010 - In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. MIT Press. pp. 43--66.
    In the movie, Memento, the hero, Leonard, suffers from a form of anterograde amnesia that results in an inability to lay down new memories. Nonetheless, he sets out on a quest to find his wife’s killer, aided by the use of notes, annotated polaroids, and (for the most important pieces of information obtained) body tattoos. Using these resources he attempts to build up a stock of new beliefs and to thus piece together the puzzle of his wife’s death. At one (...)
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  • Structural Representation and the Two Problems of Content.Jonny Lee - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (5):606-626.
    Mind &Language, Volume 34, Issue 5, Page 606-626, November 2019.
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  • The Dynamical Challenge.Andy Clark - 1997 - Cognitive Science 21 (4):461-481.
    Recent studies such as Thelen and Smith, Kelso, Van Gelder, Beer, and others have presented a forceful case for a dynamical systems approach to understanding cognition and adaptive behavior. These studies call into question some foundational assumptions concerning the nature of cognitive scientific explanation and the role of notions such as internal representation and computation. These are exciting and important challenges. But they must be handled with care. It is all to easy in this debate to lose sight of the (...)
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  • Content and Misrepresentation in Hierarchical Generative Models.Alex Kiefer & Jakob Hohwy - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2387-2415.
    In this paper, we consider how certain longstanding philosophical questions about mental representation may be answered on the assumption that cognitive and perceptual systems implement hierarchical generative models, such as those discussed within the prediction error minimization framework. We build on existing treatments of representation via structural resemblance, such as those in Gładziejewski :559–582, 2016) and Gładziejewski and Miłkowski, to argue for a representationalist interpretation of the PEM framework. We further motivate the proposed approach to content by arguing that it (...)
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  • Do Connectionist Representations Earn Their Explanatory Keep?William Ramsey - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (1):34-66.
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  • Do Connectionist Representations Earn Their Explanatory Keep?William Ramsey - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (1):34-66.
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  • Plato's Camera: How the Physical Brain Captures a Landscape of Abstract Universals.Paul M. Churchland - 2012 - MIT Press.
    In _ Plato's Camera_, eminent philosopher Paul Churchland offers a novel account of how the brain constructs a representation -- or "takes a picture" -- of the universe's timeless categorical and dynamical structure. This construction process, which begins at birth, yields the enduring background conceptual framework with which we will interpret our sensory experience for the rest of our lives. But, as even Plato knew, to make singular perceptual judgments requires that we possess an antecedent framework of abstract categories to (...)
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  • Structural and Indicator Representations: A Difference in Degree, Not Kind.Gregory Nirshberg & Lawrence Shapiro - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7647-7664.
    Some philosophers have offered structural representations as an alternative to indicator-based representations. Motivating these philosophers is the belief that an indication-based analysis of representation exhibits two fatal inadequacies from which structural representations are spared: such an analysis cannot account for the causal role of representational content and cannot explain how representational content can be made determinate. In fact, we argue, indicator and structural representations are on a par with respect to these two problems. This should not be surprising, we contend, (...)
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  • Similarity-Based Cognition: Radical Enactivism Meets Cognitive Neuroscience.Miguel Segundo-Ortin & Daniel D. Hutto - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):1-19.
    Similarity-based cognition is commonplace. It occurs whenever an agent or system exploits the similarities that hold between two or more items—e.g., events, processes, objects, and so on—in order to perform some cognitive task. This kind of cognition is of special interest to cognitive neuroscientists. This paper explicates how similarity-based cognition can be understood through the lens of radical enactivism and why doing so has advantages over its representationalist rival, which posits the existence of structural representations or S-representations. Specifically, it is (...)
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  • From Symbols to Icons: The Return of Resemblance in the Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Daniel Williams & Lincoln Colling - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):1941-1967.
    We argue that one important aspect of the “cognitive neuroscience revolution” identified by Boone and Piccinini :1509–1534. doi: 10.1007/s11229-015-0783-4, 2015) is a dramatic shift away from thinking of cognitive representations as arbitrary symbols towards thinking of them as icons that replicate structural characteristics of their targets. We argue that this shift has been driven both “from below” and “from above”—that is, from a greater appreciation of what mechanistic explanation of information-processing systems involves, and from a greater appreciation of the problems (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and the Representation Wars.Daniel Williams - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):141-172.
    Clark has recently suggested that predictive processing advances a theory of neural function with the resources to put an ecumenical end to the “representation wars” of recent cognitive science. In this paper I defend and develop this suggestion. First, I broaden the representation wars to include three foundational challenges to representational cognitive science. Second, I articulate three features of predictive processing’s account of internal representation that distinguish it from more orthodox representationalist frameworks. Specifically, I argue that it posits a resemblance-based (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and the Representation Wars: A Victory for the Eliminativist.Adrian Downey - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5115-5139.
    In this paper I argue that, by combining eliminativist and fictionalist approaches toward the sub-personal representational posits of predictive processing, we arrive at an empirically robust and yet metaphysically innocuous cognitive scientific framework. I begin the paper by providing a non-representational account of the five key posits of predictive processing. Then, I motivate a fictionalist approach toward the remaining indispensable representational posits of predictive processing, and explain how representation can play an epistemologically indispensable role within predictive processing explanations without thereby (...)
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  • When Physical Systems Realize Functions.Matthias Scheutz - 1999 - Minds and Machines 9 (2):161-196.
    After briefly discussing the relevance of the notions computation and implementation for cognitive science, I summarize some of the problems that have been found in their most common interpretations. In particular, I argue that standard notions of computation together with a state-to-state correspondence view of implementation cannot overcome difficulties posed by Putnam's Realization Theorem and that, therefore, a different approach to implementation is required. The notion realization of a function, developed out of physical theories, is then introduced as a replacement (...)
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  • Coordinating with the Future: The Anticipatory Nature of Representation. [REVIEW]Giovanni Pezzulo - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (2):179-225.
    Humans and other animals are able not only to coordinate their actions with their current sensorimotor state, but also to imagine, plan and act in view of the future, and to realize distal goals. In this paper we discuss whether or not their future-oriented conducts imply (future-oriented) representations. We illustrate the role played by anticipatory mechanisms in natural and artificial agents, and we propose a notion of representation that is grounded in the agent’s predictive capabilities. Therefore, we argue that the (...)
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  • Representation and Mental Representation.Robert D. Rupert - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):204-225.
    This paper engages critically with anti-representationalist arguments pressed by prominent enactivists and their allies. The arguments in question are meant to show that the “as-such” and “job-description” problems constitute insurmountable challenges to causal-informational theories of mental content. In response to these challenges, a positive account of what makes a physical or computational structure a mental representation is proposed; the positive account is inspired partly by Dretske’s views about content and partly by the role of mental representations in contemporary cognitive scientific (...)
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  • Radical Embodied Cognitive Science.Anthony Chemero - 2009 - Bradford.
    While philosophers of mind have been arguing over the status of mental representations in cognitive science, cognitive scientists have been quietly engaged in studying perception, action, and cognition without explaining them in terms of mental representation. In this book, Anthony Chemero describes this nonrepresentational approach, puts it in historical and conceptual context, and applies it to traditional problems in the philosophy of mind. Radical embodied cognitive science is a direct descendant of the American naturalist psychology of William James and John (...)
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  • A Deflationary Account of Mental Representation.Frances Egan - 2020 - In Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dolega & Tobias Schlicht (eds.), Mental Representations. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Among the cognitive capacities of evolved creatures is the capacity to represent. Theories in cognitive neuroscience typically explain our manifest representational capacities by positing internal representations, but there is little agreement about how these representations function, especially with the relatively recent proliferation of connectionist, dynamical, embodied, and enactive approaches to cognition. In this talk I sketch an account of the nature and function of representation in cognitive neuroscience that couples a realist construal of representational vehicles with a pragmatic account of (...)
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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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  • Physical Computation: A Mechanistic Account.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Gualtiero Piccinini articulates and defends a mechanistic account of concrete, or physical, computation. A physical system is a computing system just in case it is a mechanism one of whose functions is to manipulate vehicles based solely on differences between different portions of the vehicles according to a rule defined over the vehicles. Physical Computation discusses previous accounts of computation and argues that the mechanistic account is better. Many kinds of computation are explicated, such as digital vs. analog, serial vs. (...)
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  • The Mathematical Theory of Communication.Claude E. Shannon & Warren Weaver - 1949 - University of Illinois Press.
    Scientific knowledge grows at a phenomenal pace--but few books have had as lasting an impact or played as important a role in our modern world as The Mathematical Theory of Communication, published originally as a paper on communication theory more than fifty years ago. Republished in book form shortly thereafter, it has since gone through four hardcover and sixteen paperback printings. It is a revolutionary work, astounding in its foresight and contemporaneity. The University of Illinois Press is pleased and honored (...)
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  • Active Content Externalism.Holger Lyre - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):17-33.
    The aim of this paper is to scrutinize active externalism and its repercussions for externalism about mental content. I start from the claim that active externalism is a version of content externalism that follows from the extended cognition thesis as a thesis about cognitive vehicles. Various features of active content externalism are explored by comparison with the known forms of passive externalism – in particular with respect to the multiple realizability of the relevant external content-determining components and with respect to (...)
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  • Extended Mathematical Cognition: External Representations with Non-Derived Content.Karina Vold & Dirk Schlimm - 2020 - Synthese 197 (9):3757-3777.
    Vehicle externalism maintains that the vehicles of our mental representations can be located outside of the head, that is, they need not be instantiated by neurons located inside the brain of the cogniser. But some disagree, insisting that ‘non-derived’, or ‘original’, content is the mark of the cognitive and that only biologically instantiated representational vehicles can have non-derived content, while the contents of all extra-neural representational vehicles are derived and thus lie outside the scope of the cognitive. In this paper (...)
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  • Structural Representations: Causally Relevant and Different From Detectors.Paweł Gładziejewski & Marcin Miłkowski - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (3):337-355.
    This paper centers around the notion that internal, mental representations are grounded in structural similarity, i.e., that they are so-called S-representations. We show how S-representations may be causally relevant and argue that they are distinct from mere detectors. First, using the neomechanist theory of explanation and the interventionist account of causal relevance, we provide a precise interpretation of the claim that in S-representations, structural similarity serves as a “fuel of success”, i.e., a relation that is exploitable for the representation using (...)
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  • Action Is Enabled by Systematic Misrepresentations.Wanja Wiese - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (6):1233-1252.
    According to active inference, action is enabled by a top-down modulation of sensory signals. Computational models of this mechanism complement ideomotor theories of action representation. Such theories postulate common neural representations for action and perception, without specifying how action is enabled by such representations. In active inference, motor commands are replaced by proprioceptive predictions. In order to initiate action through such predictions, sensory prediction errors have to be attenuated. This paper argues that such top-down modulation involves systematic misrepresentations. More specifically, (...)
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  • A Theory of Computational Implementation.Michael Rescorla - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1277-1307.
    I articulate and defend a new theory of what it is for a physical system to implement an abstract computational model. According to my descriptivist theory, a physical system implements a computational model just in case the model accurately describes the system. Specifically, the system must reliably transit between computational states in accord with mechanical instructions encoded by the model. I contrast my theory with an influential approach to computational implementation espoused by Chalmers, Putnam, and others. I deploy my theory (...)
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  • Doing Without Representing?Andy Clark & Josefa Toribio - 1994 - Synthese 101 (3):401-31.
    Connectionism and classicism, it generally appears, have at least this much in common: both place some notion of internal representation at the heart of a scientific study of mind. In recent years, however, a much more radical view has gained increasing popularity. This view calls into question the commitment to internal representation itself. More strikingly still, this new wave of anti-representationalism is rooted not in armchair theorizing but in practical attempts to model and understand intelligent, adaptive behavior. In this paper (...)
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  • Representation Reconsidered.William M. Ramsey - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
    Cognitive representation is the single most important explanatory notion in the sciences of the mind and has served as the cornerstone for the so-called 'cognitive revolution'. This book critically examines the ways in which philosophers and cognitive scientists appeal to representations in their theories, and argues that there is considerable confusion about the nature of representational states. This has led to an excessive over-application of the notion - especially in many of the fresher theories in computational neuroscience. Representation Reconsidered shows (...)
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  • A Theory of Content and Other Essays.Jerry A. Fodor - 1990 - MIT Press.
    Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction PART I Intentionality Chapter 1 Fodor’ Guide to Mental Representation: The Intelligent Auntie’s Vade-Mecum Chapter 2 Semantics, Wisconsin Style Chapter 3 A Theory of Content, I: The Problem Chapter 4 A Theory of Content, II: The Theory Chapter 5 Making Mind Matter More Chapter 6 Substitution Arguments and the Individuation of Beliefs Chapter 7 Stephen Schiffer’s Dark Night of The Soul: A Review of Remnants of Meaning PART II Modularity Chapter 8 Précis of The Modularity of (...)
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  • Explaining Behavior: Reasons in a World of Causes.Fred I. Dretske - 1988 - MIT Press.
    In this lucid portrayal of human behavior, Fred Dretske provides an original account of the way reasons function in the causal explanation of behavior.
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  • Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science.Andy Clark - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Mindware: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Cognitive Science invites readers to join in up-to-the-minute conceptual discussions of the fundamental issues, problems, and opportunities in cognitive science. Written by one of the most renowned scholars in the field, this vivid and engaging introductory text relates the story of the search for a cognitive scientific understanding of mind. This search is presented as a no-holds-barred journey from early work in artificial intelligence, through connectionist (artificial neural network) counter-visions, and on to neuroscience, (...)
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  • Associative Engines: Connectionism, Concepts, and Representational Change.Andy Clark - 1993 - MIT Press.
    As Ruben notes, the macrostrategy can allow that the distinction may also be drawn at some micro level, but it insists that descent to the micro level is ...
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  • Similarity-Based Cognition: Radical Enactivism Meets Cognitive Neuroscience.Miguel Segundo-Ortin & Daniel D. Hutto - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):5-23.
    Similarity-based cognition is commonplace. It occurs whenever an agent or system exploits the similarities that hold between two or more items—e.g., events, processes, objects, and so on—in order to perform some cognitive task. This kind of cognition is of special interest to cognitive neuroscientists. This paper explicates how similarity-based cognition can be understood through the lens of radical enactivism and why doing so has advantages over its representationalist rival, which posits the existence of structural representations or S-representations. Specifically, it is (...)
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  • Similarity-Based Cognition: Radical Enactivism Meets Cognitive Neuroscience.Miguel Segundo-Ortin & Daniel D. Hutto - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):5-23.
    Similarity-based cognition is commonplace. It occurs whenever an agent or system exploits the similarities that hold between two or more items—e.g., events, processes, objects, and so on—in order to perform some cognitive task. This kind of cognition is of special interest to cognitive neuroscientists. This paper explicates how similarity-based cognition can be understood through the lens of radical enactivism and why doing so has advantages over its representationalist rival, which posits the existence of structural representations or S-representations. Specifically, it is (...)
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  • Semantics, Wisconsin Style.Jerry A. Fodor - 1984 - Synthese 59 (3):231-50.
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  • Informational Theories of Content and Mental Representation.Marc Artiga & Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3):613-627.
    Informational theories of semantic content have been recently gaining prominence in the debate on the notion of mental representation. In this paper we examine new-wave informational theories which have a special focus on cognitive science. In particular, we argue that these theories face four important difficulties: they do not fully solve the problem of error, fall prey to the wrong distality attribution problem, have serious difficulties accounting for ambiguous and redundant representations and fail to deliver a metasemantic theory of representation. (...)
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  • The Rediscovery of the Mind.John R. Searle - 1992 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 37:253.
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  • Structural Representations and the Brain.Oron Shagrir - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):519-545.
    In Representation Reconsidered , William Ramsey suggests that the notion of structural representation is posited by classical theories of cognition, but not by the ‘newer accounts’ (e.g. connectionist modeling). I challenge the assertion about the newer accounts. I argue that the newer accounts also posit structural representations; in fact, the notion plays a key theoretical role in the current computational approaches in cognitive neuroscience. The argument rests on a close examination of computational work on the oculomotor system.
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  • Explaining the Computational Mind.Marcin Miłkowski - 2013 - MIT Press.
    In the book, I argue that the mind can be explained computationally because it is itself computational—whether it engages in mental arithmetic, parses natural language, or processes the auditory signals that allow us to experience music. All these capacities arise from complex information-processing operations of the mind. By analyzing the state of the art in cognitive science, I develop an account of computational explanation used to explain the capacities in question.
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  • Knowledge and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
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  • Predictive Coding and Representationalism.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2).
    According to the predictive coding theory of cognition , brains are predictive machines that use perception and action to minimize prediction error, i.e. the discrepancy between bottom–up, externally-generated sensory signals and top–down, internally-generated sensory predictions. Many consider PCT to have an explanatory scope that is unparalleled in contemporary cognitive science and see in it a framework that could potentially provide us with a unified account of cognition. It is also commonly assumed that PCT is a representational theory of sorts, in (...)
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  • Action Guidance is Not Enough, Representations Need Correspondence Too: A Plea for a Two-Factor Theory of Representation.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2015 - New Ideas in Psychology:doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2015..
    The aim of this article is to critically examine what I call Action-Centric Theories of Representation (ACToRs). I include in this category theories of representation that (1) reject construing representation in terms of a relation that holds between representation itself (the representational vehicle) and what is represented, and instead (2) try to bring the function that representations play for cognitive systems to the center stage. Roughly speaking, according to proponents of ACToRs, what makes a representation (that is, what is constitutive (...)
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  • The Interactivist Model.Mark H. Bickhard - 2009 - Synthese 166 (3):547 - 591.
    A shift from a metaphysical framework of substance to one of process enables an integrated account of the emergence of normative phenomena. I show how substance assumptions block genuine ontological emergence, especially the emergence of normativity, and how a process framework permits a thermodynamic-based account of normative emergence. The focus is on two foundational forms of normativity, that of normative function and of representation as emergent in a particular kind of function. This process model of representation, called interactivism, compels changes (...)
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  • How to Think About Mental Content.Frances Egan - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (1):115-135.
    Introduction: representationalismMost theorists of cognition endorse some version of representationalism, which I will understand as the view that the human mind is an information-using system, and that human cognitive capacities are representational capacities. Of course, notions such as ‘representation’ and ‘information-using’ are terms of art that require explication. As a first pass, representations are “mediating states of an intelligent system that carry information” (Markman and Dietrich 2001, p. 471). They have two important features: (1) they are physically realized, and so (...)
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