Results for 'Teleosemantics'

46 found
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  1. Teleosemantics, Selection and Novel Contents.Justin Garson & David Papineau - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (3):36.
    Mainstream teleosemantics is the view that mental representation should be understood in terms of biological functions, which, in turn, should be understood in terms of selection processes. One of the traditional criticisms of teleosemantics is the problem of novel contents: how can teleosemantics explain our ability to represent properties that are evolutionarily novel? In response, some have argued that by generalizing the notion of a selection process to include phenomena such as operant conditioning, and the neural selection (...)
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  2. Teleosemantics Without Etiology.Bence Nanay - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):798-810.
    The aim of teleosemantics is to give a scientifically respectable, or ‘naturalistic’ theory of mental content. In the debates surrounding the scope and merits of teleosemantics a lot has been said about the concept of indication (or carrying information). The aim of this paper is to focus on the other key concept of teleosemantics: biological function. It has been universally accepted in the teleosemantics literature that the account of biological function one should use to flesh out (...)
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  3. Metaethics, Teleosemantics and the Function of Moral Judgements.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):639-662.
    This paper applies the theory of teleosemantics to the issue of moral content. Two versions of teleosemantics are distinguished: input-based and output-based. It is argued that applying either to the case of moral judgements generates the conclusion that such judgements have both descriptive (belief-like) and directive (desire-like) content, intimately entwined. This conclusion directly validates neither descriptivism nor expressivism, but the application of teleosemantics to moral content does leave the descriptivist with explanatory challenges which the expressivist does not (...)
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  4.  84
    Teleosemantics and the Hard Problem of Content.Stephen Francis Mann & Ross Pain - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (1):22-46.
    Hutto and Myin claim that teleosemantics cannot account for mental content. In their view, teleosemantics accounts for a poorer kind of relation between cognitive states and the world but lacks the theoretical tools to account for a richer kind. We show that their objection imposes two criteria on theories of content: a truth-evaluable criterion and an intensionality criterion. For the objection to go through, teleosemantics must be subject to both these criteria and must fail to satisfy them. (...)
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  5. Teleosemantic Modeling of Cognitive Representations.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):483-505.
    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 (...)
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  6. Teleosemantics, Swampman, and Strong Representationalism.Uwe Peters - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):273–288.
    Teleosemantics explains mental representation in terms of biological function and selection history. One of the main objections to the account is the so-called ‘Swampman argument’ (Davidson 1987), which holds that there could be a creature with mental representation even though it lacks a selection history. A number of teleosemanticists reject the argument by emphasising that it depends on assuming a creature that is fi ctitious and hence irrelevant for teleosemantics because the theory is only concerned with representations in (...)
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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Teleosemantics and Pushmi-Pullyu Representations.Marc Artiga - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):1-22.
    One of the main tenets of current teleosemantic theories is that simple representations are Pushmi-Pullyu states, i.e. they carry descriptive and imperative content at the same time. In the paper I present an argument that shows that if we add this claim to the core tenets of teleosemantics, then (1) it entails that, necessarily, all representations are Pushmi-Pullyu states and (2) it undermines one of the main motivations for the Pushmi-Pullyu account.
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  10. Teleosemantics, Infotel-Semantics and Circularity.Marc Artiga - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):583-603.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith and Nicholas Shea have argued that standard versions of teleosemantics render explanations of successful behavior by appealing to true beliefs circular and, consequently, non-explanatory. As an alternative, Shea has recently suggested an original teleosemantic account (that he calls ?Infotel-semantics?), which is supposed to be immune to the problem of circularity. The paper argues that the standard version of teleosemantics has a satisfactory reply to the circularity objection and that, in any case, Infotel-semantics is not better off (...)
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  11.  38
    New Norms for Teleosemantics.Timothy Schroeder - 2004 - In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Representation in Mind. Elsevier. pp. 1--91.
    Teleosemantics has a problem: it holds that to have a mind one must have a history, often a long evolutionary history. The solution to the problem is for teleosemanticists to give up on natural selection as the source of natural norms (functions) for neural structures, and to find a different source of natural norms which is not essentially history-involving. Such a source in fact exists, in cybernetic governance. This paper argues for the existence of natural norms derived from cybernetic (...)
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  12. Reliable Misrepresentation and Teleosemantics.Marc Artiga - 2013 - Disputatio (37):265-281.
    Mendelovici (forthcoming) has recently argued that (1) tracking theories of mental representation (including teleosemantics) are incompatible with the possibility of reliable misrepresentation and that (2) this is an important difficulty for them. Furthermore, she argues that this problem commits teleosemantics to an unjustified a priori rejection of color eliminativism. In this paper I argue that (1) teleosemantics can accommodate most cases of reliable misrepresentation, (2) those cases the theory fails to account for are not objectionable and (3) (...)
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  13.  40
    Adaptation and its Analogues: Biological Categories for Biosemantics.Hajo Greif - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:298-307.
    “Teleosemantic” or “biosemantic” theories form a strong naturalistic programme in the philosophy of mind and language. They seek to explain the nature of mind and language by recourse to a natural history of “proper functions” as selected-for effects of language- and thought-producing mechanisms. However, they remain vague with respect to the nature of the proposed analogy between selected-for effects on the biological level and phenomena that are not strictly biological, such as reproducible linguistic and cultural forms. This essay critically explores (...)
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  14.  92
    Signaling Without Cooperation.Marc Artiga - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):357-378.
    Ethological theories usually attribute semantic content to animal signals. To account for this fact, many biologists and philosophers appeal to some version of teleosemantics. However, this picture has recently came under attack: while mainstream teleosemantics assumes that representational systems must cooperate, some biologists and philosophers argue that in certain cases signaling can evolve within systems lacking common interest. In this paper I defend the standard view from this objection.
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  15. Why Tracking Theories Should Allow for Clean Cases of Reliable Misrepresentation.Angela Mendelovici - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (42):57-92.
    Reliable misrepresentation is getting things wrong in the same way all the time. In Mendelovici 2013, I argue that tracking theories of mental representation cannot allow for certain kinds of reliable misrepresentation, and that this is a problem for those views. Artiga 2013 defends teleosemantics from this argument. He agrees with Mendelovici 2013 that teleosemantics cannot account for clean cases of reliable misrepresentation, but argues that this is not a problem for the views. This paper clarifies and improves (...)
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  16. A Generalized Selected Effects Theory of Function.Justin Garson - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):523-543.
    I present and defend the generalized selected effects theory (GSE) of function. According to GSE, the function of a trait consists in the activity that contributed to its bearer’s differential reproduction, or differential retention, within a population. Unlike the traditional selected effects (SE) theory, it does not require that the functional trait helped its bearer reproduce; differential retention is enough. Although the core theory has been presented previously, I go significantly beyond those presentations by providing a new argument for GSE (...)
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  17.  94
    Functions and Mental Representation: The Theoretical Role of Representations and its Real Nature.Miguel Sebastián - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (2):317-336.
    Representations are not only used in our folk-psychological explanations of behaviour, but are also fruitfully postulated, for example, in cognitive science. The mainstream view in cognitive science maintains that our mind is a representational system. This popular view requires an understanding of the nature of the entities they are postulating. Teleosemantic theories face this challenge, unpacking the normativity in the relation of representation by appealing to the teleological function of the representing state. It has been argued that, if intentionality is (...)
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  18. A Teleofunctional Account of Evolutionary Mismatch.Nathan Cofnas - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):507-525.
    When the environment in which an organism lives deviates in some essential way from that to which it is adapted, this is described as “evolutionary mismatch,” or “evolutionary novelty.” The notion of mismatch plays an important role, explicitly or implicitly, in evolution-informed cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and medicine. The evolutionary novelty of our contemporary environment is thought to have significant implications for our health and well-being. However, scientists have generally been working without a clear definition of mismatch. This paper defines (...)
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  19.  95
    Beyond Black Dots and Nutritious Things: A Solution to the Indeterminacy Problem.Marc Artiga - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (3):471-490.
    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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  20. Review of A Mark of the Mental. [REVIEW]Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (3):378-385.
    Karen Neander's A Mark of the Mental is a noteworthy and novel contribution to the long-running project of naturalizing intentionality. The aim of the book is to “solve the part of Brentano’s problem that is within reach” (3). Brentano's problem is the problem of explaining intentionality; the part of this problem that is supposedly within reach is that of explaining nonconceptual sensory-perceptual intentionality; and Neander aims to solve it via an informational teleosemantic theory. In this review, we provide a chapter-by-chapter (...)
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  21. Kolors Without Colors, Representation Without Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Over the past few decades, the dominant approach to explaining intentionality has been a naturalistic approach, one appealing only to non-mental ingredients condoned by the natural sciences. Karen Neander’s A Mark of the Mental (2017) is the latest installment in the naturalist project, proposing a detailed and systematic theory of intentionality that combines aspects of several naturalistic approaches, invoking causal relations, teleological functions, and relations of second-order similarity. In this paper, we consider the case of perceptual representations of colors, which (...)
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  22. The Boundaries of the Mind.Katalin Farkas - 2019 - In Amy Kind (ed.), Philosophy of Mind in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries. pp. 256-279.
    The subject of mental processes or mental states is usually assumed to be an individual, and hence the boundaries of mental features – in a strict or metaphorical sense – are naturally regarded as reaching no further than the boundaries of the individual. This chapter addresses various philosophical developments in the 20th and 21st century that questioned this natural assumption. I will frame this discussion by fi rst presenting a historically infl uential commitment to the individualistic nature of the mental (...)
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  23. Misrepresentation.Fred I. Dretske - 1986 - In Radu Bogdan (ed.), Belief: Form, Content, and Function. Oxford University Press. pp. 17--36.
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  24. 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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  25. Review of Millikan, Ruth Garrett, Language: A Biological Model[REVIEW]Brian Epstein - 2006 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (5).
    Ruth Mil­likan is one of the most inter­est­ing and influ­en­tial philoso­phers alive. Her work is also hard to pen­e­trate. In this review, I try to present and assess her work on the nature of lan­guage, which is col­lected in this anthol­ogy. I also crit­i­cize her analy­sis of “nat­ural con­ven­tion” as well as her dis­cus­sion of illo­cu­tion­ary acts.
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  26. Thinking About Consciousness.Katalin Balog - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):774-778.
    Papineau in his book provides a detailed defense of physicalism via what has recently been dubbed the “phenomenal concept strategy”. I share his enthusiasm for this approach. But I disagree with his account of how a physicalist should respond to the conceivability arguments. Also I argue that his appeal to teleosemantics in explaining mental quotation is more like a promissory note than an actual theory.
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  27. Phenomenal Intentionality and the Problem of Representation.Walter Ott - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (1):131--145.
    According to the phenomenal intentionality research program, a state’s intentional content is fixed by its phenomenal character. Defenders of this view have little to say about just how this grounding is accomplished. I argue that without a robust account of representation, the research program promises too little. Unfortunately, most of the well-developed accounts of representation – asymmetric dependence, teleosemantics, and the like – ground representation in external relations such as causation. Such accounts are inconsistent with the core of the (...)
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  28. Liberal Representationalism: A Deflationist Defense.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):407-430.
    The idea that only complex brains can possess genuine representations is an important element in mainstream philosophical thinking. An alternative view, which I label ‘liberal representationalism’, holds that we should accept the existence of many more full-blown representations, from activity in retinal ganglion cells to the neural states produced by innate releasing mechanisms in cognitively unsophisticated organisms. A promising way of supporting liberal representationalism is to show it to be a consequence of our best naturalistic theories of representation. However, several (...)
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  29. On Thinking of Kinds: A Neuroscientific Perspective.Dan Ryder - 2006 - In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 115-145.
    Reductive, naturalistic psychosemantic theories do not have a good track record when it comes to accommodating the representation of kinds. In this paper, I will suggest a particular teleosemantic strategy to solve this problem, grounded in the neurocomputational details of the cerebral cortex. It is a strategy with some parallels to one that Ruth Millikan has suggested, but to which insufficient attention has been paid. This lack of attention is perhaps due to a lack of appreciation for the severity of (...)
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  30.  50
    Getting a Moral Thing Into a Thought: Metasemantics for Non-Naturalists.Preston J. Werner - 2020 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 140-169.
    Non-naturalism is the view that normative properties are response-independent, irreducible to natural properties, and causally inefficacious. An underexplored question for non-naturalism concerns the metasemantics of normative terms. Ideally, the non-naturalist could remain ecumenical, but it appears they cannot. Call this challenge the metasemantic challenge. This chapter suggests that non-naturalists endorse an epistemic account of reference determination of the sort recently defended by Imogen Dickie, with some modifications. An important implication of this account is that, if correct, a fully fleshed out (...)
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  31. Two Notions of Mental Representation.Uriah Kriegel - 2013 - In U. Kriegel (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. pp. 161-179.
    The main thesis of this paper is twofold. In the first half of the paper, (§§1-2), I argue that there are two notions of mental representation, which I call objective and subjective. In the second part (§§3-7), I argue that this casts familiar tracking theories of mental representation as incomplete: while it is clear how they might account for objective representation, they at least require supplementation to account for subjective representation.
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  32.  54
    Cecilia Heyes, Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking, Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018, Ix + 292 Pp., $31.50/£25.95/€28.50. [REVIEW]Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (2):1-5.
    Heyes’ book is an essential addition to the literature on human uniqueness. Her main claim is that the key human cognitive capacities are products of cultural rather than genetic evolution. Among these distinctively human capacities are causal understanding, episodic memory, imitation, mindreading, and normative thinking. According to Heyes, they emerged not by genetic mutation but by innovations in cognitive development. She calls these mechanisms ‘cognitive gadgets.’ This is perhaps one of the best and most comprehensive views of human cognitive evolution (...)
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  33. What is Locke's Theory of Representation?Walter Ott - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6):1077-1095.
    On a currently popular reading of Locke, an idea represents its cause, or what God intended to be its cause. Against Martha Bolton and my former self (among others), I argue that Locke cannot hold such a view, since it sins against his epistemology and theory of abstraction. I argue that Locke is committed to a resemblance theory of representation, with the result that ideas of secondary qualities are not representations.
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  34. Rescuing Tracking Theories of Morality.Marc Artiga - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3357-3374.
    Street’s :109–166, 2006) Darwinian Dilemma purports to show that evolutionary considerations are in tension with realist theories of value, which include moral realism. According to this argument, moral realism can only be defended by assuming an implausible tracking relation between moral attitudes and moral facts. In this essay, I argue that this tracking relation is not as implausible as most people have assumed by showing that the three main objections against it are flawed. Since this is a key premise in (...)
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  35. 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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  36. Function, Modality, Mental Content.Bence Nanay - 2011 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 32 (2):84-87.
    I clarify some of the details of the modal theory of function I outlined in Nanay (2010): (a) I explicate what it means that the function of a token biological trait is fixed by modal facts; (b) I address an objection to my trait type individuation argument against etiological function and (c) I examine the consequences of replacing the etiological theory of function with a modal theory for the prospects of using the concept of biological function to explain mental content.
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  37.  30
    Attribution of Information in Animal Interaction.Stephen Francis Mann - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (3):164–179.
    This article establishes grounds on which attributions of information and encoding in animal signals are warranted. As common interest increases between evolutionary agents, the theoretical approach best suited to describing their interaction shifts from evolutionary game theory to communication theory, which warrants informational language. The take-home positive message is that in cooperative settings, signals can appropriately be described as transmitting encoded information, regardless of the cognitive powers of signalers. The canonical example is the honeybee waggle dance, which is discussed extensively (...)
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  38.  86
    Signals Are Minimal Causes.Marc Artiga - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8581-8599.
    Although the definition of ‘signal’ has been controversial for some time within the life sciences, current approaches seem to be converging toward a common analysis. This powerful framework can satisfactorily accommodate many cases of signaling and captures some of its main features. This paper argues, however, that there is a central feature of signals that so far has been largely overlooked: its special causal role. More precisely, I argue that a distinctive feature of signals is that they are minimal causes. (...)
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  39. 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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  40. On the Use and Abuse of Teleology for Life: Intentionality, Naturalism, and Meaning Rationalism in Husserl and Millikan.Jacob Rump - 2018 - Humana Mente 11 (34).
    Both Millikan’s brand of naturalistic analytic philosophy and Husserlian phenomenology have held on to teleological notions, despite their being out of favor in mainstream Western philosophy for most of the twentieth century. Both traditions have recognized the need for teleology in order to adequately account for intentionality, the need to adequately account for intentionality in order to adequately account for meaning, and the need for an adequate theory of meaning in order to precisely and consistently describe the world and life. (...)
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  41. On Plantinga on Belief in Naturalism.Troy Cross - manuscript
    An extended critical investigation of Plantinga's evolutionary argument against naturalism (EAAN). -/- I wrote this a couple of years ago as a way of thinking through the argument, but now lack the ambition to revise it into a paper. (It's too long to be a paper, too short and too narrowly focused on one person's argument to be a book.) Rather than let it age in private, I'm sharing it publicly for anyone interested in Plantinga's argument.
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  42. On Several Misuses of Sober’s Selection for/Selection of Distinction.Marc Artiga - 2011 - Topoi 30 (2):181-193.
    Teleological Theories of mental representation are probably the most promising naturalistic accounts of intentionality. However, it is widely known that these theories suffer from a major objection: the Indeterminacy Problem. The most common reply to this problem employs the Target of Selection Argument, which is based on Sober’s distinction between selection for and selection of . Unfortunately, some years ago the Target of Selection Argument came into serious attack in a famous paper by Goode and Griffiths. Since then, the question (...)
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  43. Epistemological Holism and Semantic Holism.William Cornwell - 2002 - In Yves Bouchard (ed.), Perspectives on Coherentism. Aylmar, Quebec: Editions du Scribe. pp. 17-33.
    This paper draws upon the works of Wilfred Sellars, Jerry Fodor, and Ruth Millikan to argue against epistemological holism and conceptual holism. In the first section, I content that contrary to confirmation holism, there are individual beliefs ("basic beliefs") that receive nondoxastic/noninferential warrant. In the earliest stages of cognitive development, modular processes produce basic beliefs about how things are. The disadvantage of this type of basic belief is that the person may possess information that should have defeated the belief but (...)
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  44. Strategic Content: Representations of Epistemic Modality in Biosemantics.Gunnar Björnsson - 2018 - Theoria 84 (3):259-277.
    A central idea in Ruth Millikan’s biosemantics is that a representation’s content is restricted to conditions required for the normal success of actions that it has as its function to guide. This paper raises and responds to a problem for this idea. The problem is that the success requirement seems to block us from saying that epistemic modal judgments represent our epistemic circumstances. For the normal success of actions guided by these judgments seems to depend on what is actually the (...)
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  45. Mentale Gehalte und erweiterter Geist: Warum das Argument der Nichtabgeleitetheit scheitert.Fabian Hundertmark - 2016 - In Jan G. Michel, Kim J. Boström & Michael Pohl (eds.), Ist der Geist im Kopf?: Beiträge zur These des erweiterten Geistes. mentis. pp. 133-160.
    Der These des erweiterten Geistes zufolge befinden sich manche mentalen Repräsentationen außerhalb der körperlichen Grenzen der Wesen, zu denen sie gehören. Einer der stärksten Einwände gegen diese These stellt das Argument der Nichtabgeleitetheit von Frederick Adams, Ken Aizawa und Jerry Fodor dar. Dieses Argument setzt voraus, dass genuine mentale Repräsentationen nichtabgeleitete Gehalte haben – ihre semantischen Eigenschaften sind also nicht durch Absichten, Wünsche oder Konventionen konstituiert. Repräsentationen mit nichtabgeleitetem Gehalt finden sich jedoch, so das Argument weiter, nur innerhalb der körperlichen (...)
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  46. Millikan and Her Critics, Edited by Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury, and Kenneth Williford. [REVIEW]Marc Artiga - 2015 - Mind 124 (494):679-683.
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