How Authentic Intentionality can be Enabled: a Neurocomputational Hypothesis [Book Review]

Minds and Machines 20 (2):183-202 (2010)
According to John Haugeland, the capacity for “authentic intentionality” depends on a commitment to constitutive standards of objectivity. One of the consequences of Haugeland’s view is that a neurocomputational explanation cannot be adequate to understand “authentic intentionality”. This paper gives grounds to resist such a consequence. It provides the beginning of an account of authentic intentionality in terms of neurocomputational enabling conditions. It argues that the standards, which constitute the domain of objects that can be represented, reflect the statistical structure of the environments where brain sensory systems evolved and develop. The objection that I equivocate on what Haugeland means by “commitment to standards” is rebutted by introducing the notion of “florid, self-conscious representing”. Were the hypothesis presented plausible, computational neuroscience would offer a promising framework for a better understanding of the conditions for meaningful representation.
Keywords Authentic intentionality   Constitutive standards of objectivity   John Haugeland   Neural representation   Visual perception
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Andy Clark (1997). The Dynamical Challenge. Cognitive Science 21 (4):461-481.
Daniel C. Dennett (2000). Making Tools for Thinking. In Dan Sperber (ed.), Metarepresentations. Oxford University Press 17--29.

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