On the relationship between naturalistic semantics and individuation criteria for terms in a language of thought
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 117 (1):95-131 (1998)
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 representations using the tools of dynamical systems theory, we find that a given mental representation, characterized nonsemantically, emerges in the cognitive system as the result of causal interactions between the subject and her environment. At least for the most basic of our mental representations, I argue that the dynamical systems-based approach to individuation increases the plausibility of a theory that assigns reference as a function of the subject's causal history
|Keywords||Individuation Language Metaphysics Naturalism Semantics Term Thought|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Robert D. Rupert (2006). Functionalism, Mental Causation, and the Problem of Metaphysically Necessary Effects. Noûs 40 (2):256-83.
Robert D. Rupert (2005). Minding One's Cognitive Systems: When Does a Group of Minds Constitute a Single Cognitive Unit? Episteme 1 (3):177-188.
Robert D. Rupert (2011). Cognitive Systems and the Supersized Mind. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 152 (3):427 - 436.
Cathal O'Madagain (2014). Can Groups Have Concepts? Semantics for Collective Intentions. Philosophical Issues 24 (1):347-363.
Julian Kiverstein (2012). The Meaning of Embodiment. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):740-758.
Similar books and articles
Stuart Silvers (1991). On Naturalizing the Semantics of Mental Representation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (March):49-73.
Murat Aydede (2000). On the Type/Token Relation of Mental Representations. Facta Philosophica 2 (1):23-50.
Robert D. Rupert (1999). Mental Representations and Millikan's Theory of Intentional Content: Does Biology Chase Causality? Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):113-140.
Adele Mercier (1993). Normativism and the Mental: A Problem of Language Individuation. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 72 (1):71-88.
Ruth G. Millikan (2009). Biosemantics. In Brian P. McLaughlin & Ansgar Beckerman (eds.), Journal of Philosophy. Oxford University Press 281--297.
John L. Pollock (1990). Understanding the Language of Thought. Philosophical Studies 58 (1-2):95-120.
E. J. Lowe (2007). Sortals and the Individuation of Objects. Mind and Language 22 (5):514–533.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads42 ( #79,004 of 1,725,168 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #59,788 of 1,725,168 )
How can I increase my downloads?