Two threats to representation

Synthese 129 (2):211-231 (2001)
Abstract
I consider two threats to the idea that on-line intelligent behaviour (the production of fluid and adaptable responses to ongoing sensory input) must or should be explained by appeal to neurally located representations. The first of these threats occurs when extra-neural factors account for the kind of behavioural richness and flexibility normally associated with representation-based control. I show how this anti-representational challenge can be met, if we apply the thought that, to be a representational system, an action-oriented neural system must not only be the source of at least some of the observed behavioural richness and flexibility, it must also feature two architectural traits, namely arbitrariness and homuncularity. Unfortunately, however, this solution opens the door to our second threat to representation. The homuncularity condition will not be met by any system in which the causal contribution of each component is massively context-sensitive and variable over time. I end by discussing the empirical bet that biological nervous systems will not exhibit this style of causation
Keywords Behavior  Causation  Metaphysics  Representation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 11,819
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.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

48 ( #36,523 of 1,099,957 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #90,387 of 1,099,957 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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