A teleological account of cartesian sensations?

Synthese 156 (2):311-336 (2007)
Abstract
Alison Simmons, in Simmons (1999), argues that Descartes in Meditation Six offered a teleological account of sensory representation. According to Simmons, Descartes’ view is that the biological function of sensations explains both why sensations represent what they do (i.e., their referential content) and why they represent their objects the way they do (i.e., their presentational content). Moreover, Simmons claims that her account has several advantages over other currently available interpretations of Cartesian sensations. In this paper, I argue that Simmons’ teleological account cannot be sustained for both theoretical and textual reasons and that it does not have the advantages it is claimed to have.
Keywords Descartes  Sensory representation  Biological funtion
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References found in this work BETA
Daniel Garber (1993). Descartes and Occasionalism. In Steven Nadler (ed.), Causation in Early Modern Philosophy. Penn State University Press. 9--26.
Geoffrey Gorham (2002). Descartes on the Innateness of All Ideas. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):355 - 388.

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