On the relationship between naturalistic semantics and individuation criteria for terms in a language of thought

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)
DOI 10.1023/A:1005077508102
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Julian Kiverstein (2012). The Meaning of Embodiment. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):740-758.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

92 ( #50,708 of 1,932,507 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

39 ( #10,697 of 1,932,507 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.