David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 12 (2):157-180 (1999)
This paper distinguishes two conceptions of representation at work in the philosophical literature. On the first, "contentive" conception (found, for example, in Searle and Fodor), something is a representation, roughly, if it has "propositional content". On the second, "indicative" conception (found, for example, in Dretske), representations must not only have content but also have the function of indicating something about the world. Desire is representational on the first view but not on the second. This paper argues that philosophers and psychologists have sometimes conflated these two conceptions, and it examines the consequences of this conflation for the developmental literature on the child's understanding of mind. Specifically, recent research by Gopnik and Perner on the child's understanding of desire is motivated by an argument that equivocates between the two conceptions of representation. Finally, the paper suggests that an examination of when the child understands the possibility of misrepresentation in art would be helpful in charting the child's understanding of indicative representation.
|Keywords||Desire Mind Representation Research Science|
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References found in this work BETA
Jerry A. Fodor (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1987). Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind. MIT Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1981). Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. MIT Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Daniel Friedrich (2012). The Alluringness of Desire. Philosophical Explorations 15 (3):291 - 302.
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