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  1. Causal Theories of Mental Content.Fred Adams & Ken Aizawa - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Causal theories of mental content attempt to explain how thoughts can be about things. They attempt to explain how one can think about, for example, dogs. These theories begin with the idea that there are mental representations and that thoughts are meaningful in virtue of a causal connection between a mental representation and some part of the world that is represented. In other words, the point of departure for these theories is that thoughts of dogs are about dogs because dogs (...)
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  2. Lloyd's Dialectical Theory of Representation.Kenneth Aizawa - 1994 - Mind and Language 9 (1):1-24.
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  3. Causality-Dependent Consciousness and Consciousness-Dependent Causality.David Leech Anderson - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6):5-6.
    This paper has two main goals. First, it asks whether causality is an adequate foundation for those theories of cognition and consciousness that are built upon it. The externalist revolution has reconceived all three dimensions of cognition -- the semantic, the epistemological, and the mental -- upon a foundation of 'causal connections of the appropriate type'. Yet, these new theories almost completely ignore the long-standing controversies surrounding the very nature of causality, and the very real threat that 'causality' may be (...)
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  4. Brains, Buddhas, and Believing: The Problem of Intentionality in Classical Buddhist and Cognitive-Scientific Philosophy of Mind.Dan Arnold - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    Premodern Buddhists are sometimes characterized as veritable "mind scientists" whose insights anticipate modern research on the brain and mind. Aiming to complicate this story, Dan Arnold confronts a significant obstacle to popular attempts at harmonizing classical Buddhist and modern scientific thought: since most Indian Buddhists held that the mental continuum is uninterrupted by death, they would have no truck with the idea that everything about the mental can be explained in terms of brain events. Nevertheless, a predominant stream of Indian (...)
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  5. Rejoinder to Zimmerman.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2004 - In Michael Peterson (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell.
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  6. Meaning and Reality: A Cross-Traditional Encounter.Lajos L. Brons - 2013 - In Bo Mou & R. Tieszen (eds.), Constructive Engagement of Analytic and Continental Approaches in Philosophy. Brill. pp. 199-220.
    (First paragraph.) Different views on the relation between phenomenal reality, the world as we consciously experience it, and noumenal reality, the world as it is independent from an experiencing subject, have different implications for a collection of interrelated issues of meaning and reality including aspects of metaphysics, the philosophy of language, and philosophical methodology. Exploring some of these implications, this paper compares and brings together analytic, continental, and Buddhist approaches, focusing on relevant aspects of the philosophy of Donald Davidson, Jacques (...)
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  7. An Argument Against Causal Theories of Mental Content.Todd Buras - 2009 - American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):117-129.
    Some mental states are about themselves. Nothing is a cause of itself. So some mental states are not about their causes; they are about things distinct from their causes. If this argument is sound, it spells trouble for causal theories of mental content—the precise sort of trouble depending on the precise sort of causal theory. This paper shows that the argument is sound (§§1-3), and then spells out the trouble (§4).
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  8. The Lot of the Causal Theory of Mental Content.Robert Cummins - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (10):535-542.
    The thesis of this paper is that the causal theory of mental content (hereafter CT) is incompatible with an elementary fact of perceptual psychology, namely, that the detection of distal properties generally requires the mediation of a “theory.” I shall call this fact the nontransducibility of distal properties (hereafter NTDP). The argument proceeds in two stages. The burden of stage one is that, taken together, CT and the language of thought hypothesis (hereafter LOT) are incompatible with NTDP. The burden of (...)
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  9. Representation and Covariation.Robert C. Cummins - 1989 - In Stuart Silvers (ed.), ReRepresentation. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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  10. More on the Interactive Indexing Semantic Theory.John Dilworth - 2010 - Minds and Machines 20 (3):455-474.
    This article further explains and develops a recent, comprehensive semantic naturalization theory, namely the interactive indexing (II) theory as described in my 2008 Minds and Machines article Semantic Naturalization via Interactive Perceptual Causality (Vol. 18, pp. 527–546). Folk views postulate a concrete intentional relation between cognitive states and the worldly states they are about. The II theory eliminates any such concrete intentionality, replacing it with purely causal relations based on the interactive theory of perception. But intentionality is preserved via purely (...)
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  11. Realistic Virtual Reality and Perception.John Dilworth - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):23-42.
    Realistic uses of Virtual Reality technology closely integrate user training on virtual objects with VR-assisted user interactions with real objects. This paper shows how the Interactive Theory of Perception may be extended to cover such cases. Virtual objects are explained as concrete models that have an inner generation mechanism, and the ITP is used to explain how VR users can both perceive such local CMs, and perceptually represent remote real objects. Also, concepts of modeling and representation are distinguished. The paper (...)
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  12. Semantics Naturalized: Propositional Indexing Plus Interactive Perception.John Dilworth - 2009 - Language and Communication 29 (1):1-25.
    A concrete proposal is presented as to how semantics should be naturalized. Rather than attempting to naturalize propositions, they are treated as abstract entities that index concrete cognitive states. In turn the relevant concrete cognitive states are identified via perceptual classifications of worldly states, with the aid of an interactive theory of perception. The approach enables a broadly realist theory of propositions, truth and cognitive states to be preserved, with propositions functioning much as abstract mathematical constructs do in the nonsemantic (...)
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  13. Semantic Naturalization Via Interactive Perceptual Causality.John Dilworth - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (4):527-546.
    A novel semantic naturalization program is proposed. Its three main differences from informational semantics approaches are as follows. First, it makes use of a perceptually based, four-factor interactive causal relation in place of a simple nomic covariance relation. Second, it does not attempt to globally naturalize all semantic concepts, but instead it appeals to a broadly realist interpretation of natural science, in which the concept of propositional truth is off-limits to naturalization attempts. And third, it treats all semantic concepts as (...)
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  14. A Reflexive Dispositional Analysis of Mechanistic Perception.John Dilworth - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (4):479-493.
    The field of machine perception is based on standard informational and computational approaches to perception. But naturalistic informational theories are widely regarded as being inadequate, while purely syntactic computational approaches give no account of perceptual content. Thus there is a significant need for a novel, purely naturalistic perceptual theory not based on informational or computational concepts, which could provide a new paradigm for mechanistic perception. Now specifically evolutionary naturalistic approaches to perception have been—perhaps surprisingly—almost completely neglected for this purpose. Arguably (...)
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  15. Perceptual Causality Problems Reflexively Resolved.John Dilworth - 2005 - Acta Analytica 20 (3):11-31.
    Causal theories of perception typically have problems in explaining deviant causal chains. They also have difficulty with other unusual putative cases of perception involving prosthetic aids, defective perception, scientifically extended cases of perception, and so on. But I show how a more adequate reflexive causal theory, in which objects or properties X cause a perceiver to acquire X-related dispositions toward that very same item X, can provide a plausible and principled perceptual explanation of all of these kinds of cases. A (...)
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  16. The Reflexive Theory of Perception.John Dilworth - 2005 - Behavior and Philosophy 33 (1):17-40.
    ABSTRACT: The Reflexive Theory of Perception (RTP) claims that perception of an object or property X by an organism Z consists in Z being caused by X to acquire some disposition D toward X itself. This broadly behavioral perceptual theory explains perceptual intentionality and correct versus incorrect, plus successful versus unsuccessful, perception in a plausible evolutionary framework. The theory also undermines cognitive and perceptual modularity assumptions, including informational or purely epistemic views of perception in that, according to the RTP, any (...)
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  17. A Naturalistic, Reflexive Dispositional Approach to Perception.John Dilworth - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):583-601.
    This paper will investigate the basic question of the nature of perception, as theoretically approached from a purely naturalistic standpoint. An adequate theory must not only have clear application to a world full of pre-existing biological examples of perception of all kinds, from unicellular perception to conscious human perception, but it must also satisfy a series of theoretical or philosophical constraints, as enumerated and discussed in Section 1 below. A perceptual theory invoking _reflexive dispositions_--that is, dispositions directed toward the very (...)
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  18. Naturalized Perception Without Information.John Dilworth - 2004 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (4):349-368.
    The outlines of a novel, fully naturalistic theory of perception are provided, that can explain perception of an object X by organism Z in terms of reflexive causality. On the reflexive view proposed, organism Z perceives object or property X just in case X causes Z to acquire causal dispositions reflexively directed back upon X itself. This broadly functionalist theory is potentially capable of explaining both perceptual representation and perceptual content in purely causal terms, making no use of informational concepts. (...)
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  19. Collected Papers.Gareth Evans - 1985 - Oxford University Press.
  20. The Open-Endedness Objection Against Sophisticated Dispositionalism.Sergio Farias de SouzaFilho - 2014 - Perspectiva Filosófica 41 (1):49-56.
    Sophisticated dispositionalism proposes a naturalist reduction of mental content by claiming that the semantic content of a mental symbol is determined by the causes of the occurrence of this symbol under ideal conditions, i.e., conditions under which only the referent of a symbol can cause its tokening. However, Paul Boghossian developed the open-endedness objection in order to show that it is not possible to specify these ideal conditions in non-semantic terms, entailing that the naturalist reduction of mental content proposed by (...)
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  21. Nano-Intentionality: A Defense of Intrinsic Intentionality.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):157-177.
    I suggest that most discussions of intentional systems have overlooked an important aspect of living organisms: the intrinsic goal-directedness inherent in the behaviour of living eukaryotic cells. This goal directedness is nicely displayed by a normal cell’s ability to rearrange its own local material structure in response to damage, nutrient distribution or other aspects of its individual experience. While at a vastly simpler level than intentionality at the human cognitive level, I propose that this basic capacity of living things provides (...)
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  22. Information and Representation.Jerry A. Fodor - 1990 - In Philip P. Hanson (ed.), Information, Language and Cognition. University of British Columbia Press.
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  23. Semantics, Wisconsin Style.Jerry A. Fodor - 1984 - Synthese 59 (3):231-50.
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  24. Symbolic Connectionism in Natural Language Disambiguation.James Franklin & S. W. K. Chan - 1998 - IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks 9:739-755.
    Uses connectionism (neural networks) to extract the "gist" of a story in order to represent a context going forward for the disambiguation of incoming words as a text is processed.
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  25. A Puzzle About Mental Self-Representation and Causation.Mikkel Gerken - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):890-906.
    The paper articulates a puzzle that consists in the prima facie incompatibility between three widely accepted theses. The first thesis is, roughly, that there are intrinsically selfrepresentational thoughts. The second thesis is, roughly, that there is a particular causal constraint on mental representation. The third thesis is, roughly, that nothing causes itself. In this paper, the theses are articulated in a less rough manner with the occurrence of the puzzle as a result. Finally, a number of solution strategies are considered, (...)
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  26. Causal Theories of Mental Content: Where is the "Causal Element" and How Does It Make Intentionality Relational?Mindaugas Gilaitis - 2015 - Problemos 87:19-30.
    This paper has two interrelated aims. The primary aim is to specify the character of philosophical theories of mental content that are usually classified as ‘Causal Theories of Intentionality’, ‘Causal Theories of Representation’, or ‘Causal Theories of Mental Content’ (CTs). More specifically, the aim is to characterize the role and place of causation in philosophical reflections on the nature of mental content, as suggested by theories of this kind. Elucidation of the role of the concept of causation in CTs requires (...)
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  27. Signal, Detection, Action.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):709-722.
  28. Misinformation.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1989 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):533-50.
  29. Information, Language and Cognition.Philip P. Hanson (ed.) - 1990 - University of British Columbia Press.
  30. What is Wrong with an Atomistic Account of Mental Representation.Melinda Hogan - 1994 - Synthese 100 (2):307-27.
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  31. Lloyd on Intrinsic Natural Representation in Simple Mechanical Minds.Dale Jacquette - 1996 - Minds and Machines 6 (1):47-60.
    In Simple Minds, Dan Lloyd presents a reductive account of naturally representing machines. The theory entails that a system represents an event by virtue of potentially misrepresenting it whenever the machine satisfies a multiple information channel, convergence, and uptake condition. I argue that Lloyd's conditions are insufficient for systems intrinsically naturally to misrepresent, and hence insufficient for them intrinsically naturally to represent. The appearance of potential misrepresentation in such machines is achieved only by reference to the extrinsic design or extrinsic (...)
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  32. Content: Covariation, Control, and Contingency.J. Christopher Maloney - 1994 - Synthese 100 (2):241-90.
    The Representational Theory of the Mind allows for psychological explanations couched in terms of the contents of propositional attitudes. Propositional attitudes themselves are taken to be relations to mental representations. These representations (partially) determine the contents of the attitudes in which they figure. Thus, Representationalism owes an explanation of the contents of mental representations. This essay constitutes an atomistic theory of the content of formally or syntactically simple mental representation, proposing that the content of such a representation is determined by (...)
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  33. Content Naturalized.Luciano B. Mariano - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 96 (2):205-38.
  34. Comments on Can Intelligence Be Artificial?Paul McNamara - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 71 (2):217-222.
    Doubts are raised about Dretske’s assumption that an entity can't have a representational state that governs its behavior in virtue of its content unless that internal state has been acquired via appropriate interaction with its environment. The doubts hinge on a subtle distinction between a system's acquiring an internal representational state and a system's internal state acquiring the property of being representational. Employing this distinction, it is suggested that we can pre-load machines with states "destined" to acquire specific, predictable and (...)
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  35. Reliable Misrepresentation and Tracking Theories of Mental Representation.Angela Mendelovici - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):421-443.
    It is a live possibility that certain of our experiences reliably misrepresent the world around us. I argue that tracking theories of mental representation have difficulty allowing for this possibility, and that this is a major consideration against them.
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  36. Naturalizing Intentionality: Tracking Theories Versus Phenomenal Intentionality Theories.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):325-337.
    This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
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  37. Satisfaction Conditions in Anticipatory Mechanisms.Marcin Miłkowski - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):709-728.
    The purpose of this paper is to present a general mechanistic framework for analyzing causal representational claims, and offer a way to distinguish genuinely representational explanations from those that invoke representations for honorific purposes. It is usually agreed that rats are capable of navigation because they maintain a cognitive map of their environment. Exactly how and why their neural states give rise to mental representations is a matter of an ongoing debate. I will show that anticipatory mechanisms involved in rats’ (...)
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  38. The Encyclopedia of the Mind.Hal Pashler (ed.) - forthcoming - Sage Publications.
  39. Fodor and the Inscrutability Problem.Greg Ray - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (3-4):475-89.
    In his 1993 Nicod Lectures (The Elm & the Expert), Jerry Fodor proposed a solution to a certain version of the problem of 'inscrutability of reference', which problem poses a challenge to a certain naturalistic, computational approach to cognition which Fodor has favored. The problem is that a purely informational account of an agent's mental contents cannot discriminate meanings finely enough. Fodor proposes a strategy of solution which appeals to the inferential dispositions of agents to discriminate contents more finely. After (...)
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  40. Rdmann on the Content and Validity of the Causal Law. [REVIEW]A. K. Rogers - 1905 - Journal of Philosophy 2 (13):358.
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  41. Causal Theories of Intentionality.Robert D. Rupert - forthcoming - In Hal Pashler (ed.), The Encyclopedia of the Mind. Sage Publications.
    This entry surveys a range of proposed solutions to the problem of intentionality, that is, the problem of explaining how human thoughts can be about, or be directed toward, objects. The family of solutions described here takes the content of a mental representation—what that concept represents or is about—to be a function of causal relations between mental representations and their typically external objects. This emphasis on causal relations should be understood broadly, however, so as to cover theories couched in terms (...)
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  42. Causal Theories of Mental Content.Robert D. Rupert - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (2):353–380.
    Causal theories of mental content (CTs) ground certain aspects of a concept's meaning in the causal relations a concept bears to what it represents. Section 1 explains the problems CTs are meant to solve and introduces terminology commonly used to discuss these problems. Section 2 specifies criteria that any acceptable CT must satisfy. Sections 3, 4, and 5 critically survey various CTs, including those proposed by Fred Dretske, Jerry Fodor, Ruth Garrett Millikan, David Papineau, Dennis Stampe, Dan Ryder, and the (...)
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  43. Coining Terms In The Language of Thought.Robert D. Rupert - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (10):499-530.
    Robert Cummins argues that any causal theory of mental content (CT) founders on an established fact of human psychology: that theory mediates sensory detection. He concludes,.
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  44. The Best Test Theory of Extension: First Principle(S).Robert D. Rupert - 1999 - Mind and Language 14 (3):321–355.
    This paper presents the leading idea of my doctoral dissertation and thus has been shaped by the reactions of all the members of my thesis committee: Charles Chastain, Walter Edelberg, W. Kent Wilson, Dorothy Grover, and Charles Marks. I am especially grateful for the help of Professors Chastain, Edelberg, and Wilson; each worked closely with me at one stage or another in the development of the ideas contained in the present work. Shorter versions of this paper were presented at the (...)
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  45. On the Relationship Between Naturalistic Semantics and Individuation Criteria for Terms in a Language of Thought.Robert D. Rupert - 1998 - Synthese 117 (1):95-131.
    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 (...)
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  46. Problems of Representation II: Naturalizing Content.Dan Ryder - 2009 - In Francisco Garzon & John Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.
    John is currently thinking that the sun is bright. Consider his occurrent belief or judgement that the sun is bright. Its content is that the sun is bright. This is a truth- evaluable content (which shall be our main concern) because it is capable of being true or false. In virtue of what natural, scientifically accessible facts does John’s judgement have this content? To give the correct answer to that question, and to explain why John’s judgement and other contentful mental (...)
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  47. Representation: Readings In The Philosophy Of Mental Representation.Stuart Silvers (ed.) - 1989 - Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    One kind of philosopher takes it as a working hypothesis that belief/desire psychology (or, anyhow, some variety of prepositional attitude psychology) is ...
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  48. Content, Context, and Explanation.Dennis W. Stampe - 1990 - In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Information, Semantics, and Epistemology. Blackwell.
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  49. Verificationism and a Causal Account of Meaning.Dennis W. Stampe - 1986 - Synthese 69 (October):107-37.
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  50. Towards a Causal Theory of Linguistic Representation.Dennis W. Stampe - 1977 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2 (1):42-63.
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