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  1. Fred Adams & Ken Aizawa, Causal Theories of Mental Content. 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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  2. Kenneth Aizawa (1994). Lloyd's Dialectical Theory of Representation. Mind and Language 9 (1):1-24.
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  3. Daniel Anderson Arnold (2012). Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind. Columbia University Press.
    Aiming to complicate this story, Dan Arnold confronts a significant obstacle to popular attempts at harmonizing classical Buddhist and modern scientific thought: since most Indian Buddhists believe that the mental continuum is uninterrupted ..
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  4. Lynne Rudder Baker (2004). Rejoinder to Zimmerman. In Michael Peterson (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell.
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  5. Lajos L. Brons (2013). Meaning and Reality: A Cross-Traditional Encounter. In Bo Mou R. Tiesze (ed.), Constructive Engagement of Analytic and Continental Approaches in Philosophy. Brill.
    (First paragraph.) Different views on the relation between phenomenal reality, the world as we consciously experience it, and noumenal reality, the world as it is independent from an experiencing subject, have different implications for a collection of interrelated issues of meaning and reality including aspects of metaphysics, the philosophy of language, and philosophical methodology. Exploring some of these implications, this paper compares and brings together analytic, continental, and Buddhist approaches, focusing on relevant aspects of the philosophy of Donald Davidson, Jacques (...)
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  6. Todd Buras (2009). An Argument Against Causal Theories of Mental Content. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):117-129.
    Some mental states are about themselves. Nothing is a cause of itself. So some mental states are not about their causes; they are about things distinct from their causes. If this argument is sound, it spells trouble for causal theories of mental content—the precise sort of trouble depending on the precise sort of causal theory. This paper shows that the argument is sound (§§1-3), and then spells out the trouble (§4).
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  7. Robert C. Cummins (1997). The LOT of the Causal Theory of Mental Content. Journal of Philosophy 94 (10):535-542.
    The thesis of this paper is that the causal theory of mental content (hereafter CT) is incompatible with an elementary fact of perceptual psychology, namely, that the detection of distal properties generally requires the mediation of a “theory.” I shall call this fact the nontransducibility of distal properties (hereafter NTDP). The argument proceeds in two stages. The burden of stage one is that, taken together, CT and the language of thought hypothesis (hereafter LOT) are incompatible with NTDP. The burden of (...)
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  8. Robert C. Cummins (1989). Representation and Covariation. In Stuart Silvers (ed.), ReRepresentation. Kluwer.
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  9. John Dilworth (2010). More on the Interactive Indexing Semantic Theory. Minds and Machines 20 (3):455-474.
    This article further explains and develops a recent, comprehensive semantic naturalization theory, namely the interactive indexing (II) theory as described in my 2008 Minds and Machines article Semantic Naturalization via Interactive Perceptual Causality (Vol. 18, pp. 527–546). Folk views postulate a concrete intentional relation between cognitive states and the worldly states they are about. The II theory eliminates any such concrete intentionality, replacing it with purely causal relations based on the interactive theory of perception. But intentionality is preserved via purely (...)
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  10. John Dilworth (2010). Realistic Virtual Reality and Perception. Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):23-42.
    Realistic uses of Virtual Reality (VR) technology closely integrate user training on virtual objects with VR-assisted user interactions with real objects. This paper shows how the Interactive Theory of Perception (ITP) may be extended to cover such cases. Virtual objects are explained as concrete models (CMs) that have an inner generation mechanism, and the ITP is used to explain how VR users can both perceive such local CMs, and perceptually represent remote real objects. Also, concepts of modeling and representation are (...)
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  11. John Dilworth (2009). Semantics Naturalized: Propositional Indexing Plus Interactive Perception. Language and Communication 29 (1):1-25.
    A concrete proposal is presented as to how semantics should be naturalized. Rather than attempting to naturalize propositions, they are treated as abstract entities that index concrete cognitive states. In turn the relevant concrete cognitive states are identified via perceptual classifications of worldly states, with the aid of an interactive theory of perception. The approach enables a broadly realist theory of propositions, truth and cognitive states to be preserved, with propositions functioning much as abstract mathematical constructs do in the nonsemantic (...)
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  12. John Dilworth (2008). Semantic Naturalization Via Interactive Perceptual Causality. Minds and Machines 18 (4):527-546.
    A novel semantic naturalization program is proposed. Its three main differences from informational semantics approaches are as follows. First, it makes use of a perceptually based, four-factor interactive causal relation in place of a simple nomic covariance relation. Second, it does not attempt to globally naturalize all semantic concepts, but instead it appeals to a broadly realist interpretation of natural science, in which the concept of propositional truth is off-limits to naturalization attempts. And third, it treats all semantic concepts as (...)
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  13. John Dilworth (2006). A Reflexive Dispositional Analysis of Mechanistic Perception. Minds and Machines 16 (4):479-493.
    The field of machine perception is based on standard informational and computational approaches to perception. But naturalistic informational theories are widely regarded as being inadequate, while purely syntactic computational approaches give no account of perceptual content. Thus there is a significant need for a novel, purely naturalistic perceptual theory not based on informational or computational concepts, which could provide a new paradigm for mechanistic perception. Now specifically evolutionary naturalistic approaches to perception have been—perhaps surprisingly—almost completely neglected for this purpose. Arguably (...)
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  14. John Dilworth (2005). Perceptual Causality Problems Reflexively Resolved. Acta Analytica 20 (3):11-31.
    Causal theories of perception typically have problems in explaining deviant causal chains. They also have difficulty with other unusual putative cases of perception involving prosthetic aids, defective perception, scientifically extended cases of perception, and so on. But I show how a more adequate reflexive causal theory, in which objects or properties X cause a perceiver to acquire X-related dispositions toward that very same item X, can provide a plausible and principled perceptual explanation of all of these kinds of cases. A (...)
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  15. John Dilworth (2005). The Reflexive Theory of Perception. Behavior and Philosophy 33 (1):17-40.
    ABSTRACT: The Reflexive Theory of Perception (RTP) claims that perception of an object or property X by an organism Z consists in Z being caused by X to acquire some disposition D toward X itself. This broadly behavioral perceptual theory explains perceptual intentionality and correct versus incorrect, plus successful versus unsuccessful, perception in a plausible evolutionary framework. The theory also undermines cognitive and perceptual modularity assumptions, including informational or purely epistemic views of perception in that, according to the RTP, any (...)
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  16. John Dilworth (2005). A Naturalistic, Reflexive Dispositional Approach to Perception. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):583-601.
    This paper will investigate the basic question of the nature of perception, as theoretically approached from a purely naturalistic standpoint. An adequate theory must not only have clear application to a world full of pre-existing biological examples of perception of all kinds, from unicellular perception to conscious human perception, but it must also satisfy a series of theoretical or philosophical constraints, as enumerated and discussed in Section 1 below. A perceptual theory invoking _reflexive dispositions_--that is, dispositions directed toward the very (...)
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  17. John Dilworth (2004). Naturalized Perception Without Information. Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (4):349-368.
    The outlines of a novel, fully naturalistic theory of perception are provided, that can explain perception of an object X by organism Z in terms of reflexive causality. On the reflexive view proposed, organism Z perceives object or property X just in case X causes Z to acquire causal dispositions reflexively directed back upon X itself. This broadly functionalist theory is potentially capable of explaining both perceptual representation and perceptual content in purely causal terms, making no use of informational concepts. (...)
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  18. Gareth Evans (1985). Collected Papers. Oxford University Press.
  19. W. Tecumseh Fitch (2008). Nano-Intentionality: A Defense of Intrinsic Intentionality. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):157-177.
    I suggest that most discussions of intentional systems have overlooked an important aspect of living organisms: the intrinsic goal-directedness inherent in the behaviour of living eukaryotic cells. This goal directedness is nicely displayed by a normal cell’s ability to rearrange its own local material structure in response to damage, nutrient distribution or other aspects of its individual experience. While at a vastly simpler level than intentionality at the human cognitive level, I propose that this basic capacity of living things provides (...)
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  20. Jerry A. Fodor (1990). Information and Representation. In Philip P. Hanson (ed.), Information, Language and Cognition. University of British Columbia Press.
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  21. Jerry A. Fodor (1984). Semantics, Wisconsin Style. Synthese 59 (3):231-50.
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  22. James Franklin & S. W. K. Chan (1998). Symbolic Connectionism in Natural Language Disambiguation. IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks 9:739-755.
    Uses connectionism (neural networks) to extract the "gist" of a story in order to represent a context going forward for the disambiguation of incoming words as a text is processed.
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  23. Mikkel Gerken (2014). A Puzzle About Mental Self-Representation and Causation. Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):890-906.
    The paper articulates a puzzle that consists in the prima facie incompatibility between three widely accepted theses. The first thesis is, roughly, that there are intrinsically selfrepresentational thoughts. The second thesis is, roughly, that there is a particular causal constraint on mental representation. The third thesis is, roughly, that nothing causes itself. In this paper, the theses are articulated in a less rough manner with the occurrence of the puzzle as a result. Finally, a number of solution strategies are considered, (...)
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  24. Peter Godfrey-Smith (1991). Signal, Decision, Action. Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):709-22.
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  25. Peter Godfrey-Smith (1989). Misinformation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):533-50.
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  26. Philip P. Hanson (ed.) (1990). Information, Language and Cognition. University of British Columbia Press.
  27. Melinda Hogan (1994). What is Wrong with an Atomistic Account of Mental Representation. Synthese 100 (2):307-27.
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  28. Dale Jacquette (1996). Lloyd on Intrinsic Natural Representation in Simple Mechanical Minds. Minds and Machines 6 (1):47-60.
    In Simple Minds, Dan Lloyd presents a reductive account of naturally representing machines. The theory entails that a system represents an event by virtue of potentially misrepresenting it whenever the machine satisfies a multiple information channel, convergence, and uptake condition. I argue that Lloyd's conditions are insufficient for systems intrinsically naturally to misrepresent, and hence insufficient for them intrinsically naturally to represent. The appearance of potential misrepresentation in such machines is achieved only by reference to the extrinsic design or extrinsic (...)
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  29. J. Christopher Maloney (1994). Content: Covariation, Control, and Contingency. Synthese 100 (2):241-90.
    The Representational Theory of the Mind allows for psychological explanations couched in terms of the contents of propositional attitudes. Propositional attitudes themselves are taken to be relations to mental representations. These representations (partially) determine the contents of the attitudes in which they figure. Thus, Representationalism owes an explanation of the contents of mental representations. This essay constitutes an atomistic theory of the content of formally or syntactically simple mental representation, proposing that the content of such a representation is determined by (...)
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  30. Paul McNamara (1993). Comments on Can Intelligence Be Artificial? Philosophical Studies 71 (2):217-222.
    Doubts are raised about Dretske’s assumption that an entity can't have a representational state that governs its behavior in virtue of its content unless that internal state has been acquired via appropriate interaction with its environment. The doubts hinge on a subtle distinction between a system's acquiring an internal representational state and a system's internal state acquiring the property of being representational. Employing this distinction, it is suggested that we can pre-load machines with states "destined" to acquire specific, predictable and (...)
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  31. Angela Mendelovici (2013). Reliable Misrepresentation and Tracking Theories of Mental Representation. Philosophical Studies 165 (2):421-443.
    It is a live possibility that certain of our experiences reliably misrepresent the world around us. I argue that tracking theories of mental representation (e.g. those of Dretske, Fodor, and Millikan) have difficulty allowing for this possibility, and that this is a major consideration against them.
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  32. Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget (2014). Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories. Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337.
    This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
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  33. Greg Ray (1997). Fodor and the Inscrutability Problem. Mind and Language 12 (3-4):475-89.
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  34. Robert D. Rupert (forthcoming). Causal Theories of Intentionality. In Hal Pashler (ed.), The Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage.
  35. Robert D. Rupert (2008). Causal Theories of Mental Content. Philosophy Compass 3 (2):353–380.
    Causal theories of mental content (CTs) ground certain aspects of a concept's meaning in the causal relations a concept bears to what it represents. Section 1 explains the problems CTs are meant to solve and introduces terminology commonly used to discuss these problems. Section 2 specifies criteria that any acceptable CT must satisfy. Sections 3, 4, and 5 critically survey various CTs, including those proposed by Fred Dretske, Jerry Fodor, Ruth Garrett Millikan, David Papineau, Dennis Stampe, Dan Ryder, and the (...)
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  36. Robert D. Rupert (2001). Coining Terms In The Language of Thought. Journal of Philosophy 98 (10):499-530.
    Robert Cummins argues that any causal theory of mental content (CT) founders on an established fact of human psychology: that theory mediates sensory detection. He concludes,.
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  37. Robert D. Rupert (1999). The Best Test Theory of Extension: First Principle(S). Mind and Language 14 (3):321–355.
    This paper presents the leading idea of my doctoral dissertation and thus has been shaped by the reactions of all the members of my thesis committee: Charles Chastain, Walter Edelberg, W. Kent Wilson, Dorothy Grover, and Charles Marks. I am especially grateful for the help of Professors Chastain, Edelberg, and Wilson; each worked closely with me at one stage or another in the development of the ideas contained in the present work. Shorter versions of this paper were presented at the (...)
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  38. Robert D. Rupert (1998). On the Relationship Between Naturalistic Semantics and Individuation Criteria for Terms in a Language of Thought. Synthese 117 (1):95-131.
    Naturalistically minded philosophers hope to identify a privileged nonsemantic relation that holds between a mental representation m and that which m represents, a relation whose privileged status underwrites the assignment of reference to m. The naturalist can accomplish this task only if she has in hand a nonsemantic criterion for individuating mental representations: it would be question-begging for the naturalist to characterize m, for the purpose of assigning content, as 'the representation with such and such content'. If we individuate mental (...)
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  39. Dan Ryder (2009). Problems of Representation II: Naturalizing Content. In Francisco Garzon & John Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.
    John is currently thinking that the sun is bright. Consider his occurrent belief or judgement that the sun is bright. Its content is that the sun is bright. This is a truth- evaluable content (which shall be our main concern) because it is capable of being true or false. In virtue of what natural, scientifically accessible facts does John’s judgement have this content? To give the correct answer to that question, and to explain why John’s judgement and other contentful mental (...)
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  40. Stuart Silvers (ed.) (1989). Representation: Readings In The Philosophy Of Mental Representation. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
    One kind of philosopher takes it as a working hypothesis that belief/desire psychology (or, anyhow, some variety of prepositional attitude psychology) is ...
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  41. Dennis W. Stampe (1990). Content, Context, and Explanation. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Information, Semantics, and Epistemology. Blackwell.
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  42. Dennis W. Stampe (1986). Verificationism and a Causal Account of Meaning. Synthese 69 (October):107-37.
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  43. Dennis W. Stampe (1977). Towards a Causal Theory of Linguistic Representation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2 (1):42-63.
  44. Weng Hong Tang (2013). Intentionality and Partial Belief. Synthese (7):1-18.
    Suppose we wish to provide a naturalistic account of intentionality. Like several other philosophers, we focus on the intentionality of belief, hoping that we may later supplement our account to accommodate other intentional states like desires and fears. Now suppose that we also take partial beliefs or credences seriously. In cashing out our favoured theory of intentionality, we may for the sake of simplicity talk as if belief is merely binary or all-or-nothing. But we should be able to supplement or (...)
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  45. Christopher D. Viger (2001). Locking on to the Language of Thought. Philosophical Psychology 14 (2):203-215.
    I demonstrate that locking on, a key notion in Jerry Fodor's most recent theory of content, supplemented informational atomism (SIA), is cashed out in terms of asymmetric dependence, the central notion in his earlier theory of content. I use this result to argue that SIA is incompatible with the language of thought hypothesis because the constraints on the causal relations into which symbols can enter imposed by the theory of content preclude the causal relations needed between symbols for them to (...)
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  46. Enrique Villanueva (ed.) (1990). Information, Semantics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Blackwell.
  47. Ken Warmbrod (1992). Primitive Representation and Misrepresentation. Topoi 11 (1):89-101.
    This paper develops a statistical approach to the problem of primitive representation. Representation of the kind commonly attributed to litmus paper, fuel gauges and tree rings occurs when, so to speak, there is a sufficiently good correlation between two variables. The fundamental distinction between misrepresentation and non-representation is explained in terms of the notion of an informationally useful correlation. The paper further argues that the statistical approach satisfactorily resolves well-known puzzles such as Fodor's disjunction problem.
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  48. Leora Weitzman (1996). What Makes a Causal Theory of Content Anti-Skeptical? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2):299-318.