Mental representation from the bottom up

Synthese 70 (January):23-78 (1987)
Commonsense psychology and cognitive science both regularly assume the existence of representational states. I propose a naturalistic theory of representation sufficient to meet the pretheoretical constraints of a "folk theory of representation", constraints including the capacities for accuracy and inaccuracy, selectivity of proper objects of representation, perspective, articulation, and "efficacy" or content-determined functionality. The proposed model states that a representing device is a device which changes state when information is received over multiple information channels originating at a single source. The changed state of a representing device is a representation. The unitary information source which would give rise to the information impinging on the representing device, and hence, give rise to the representation, is the content of the representation. The model meets the pretheoretic constraints, and also conforms to available neurobiological data for two invertebrate species
Keywords Metaphysics  Mind  Psychology  Representationalism
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DOI 10.1007/BF00414026
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Peter Godfrey-Smith (1989). Misinformation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):533-50.
Alan K. Mackworth (1987). What is the Schema for a Schema? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (3):443.

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