Is representation rife?

Ratio 16 (2):107-123 (2003)
This paper applies a teleosemantic perspective to the question of whether there is genuine representation outside the familiar realm of belief‐desire psychology. I first explain how teleosemantics accounts for the representational powers of beliefs and desires themselves. I then ask whether biological states which are simpler than beliefs and desires can also have representational powers. My conclusion is that such biologically simple states can be ascribed representational contents, but only in a system‐relative way: such states must be ascribed varying contents when viewed as components in different biological systems. I conclude by arguing that ‘the genetic code’ does not even embody this kind of system‐relative representation
Keywords Belief  Desire  Metaphysics  Psychology  Representation  Semantics
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DOI 10.1111/1467-9329.00210
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References found in this work BETA
Robert C. Cummins (1975). Functional Analysis. Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

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Marc Artiga (2014). Signaling Without Cooperation. Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):357-378.

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