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  1. added 2020-05-22
    Disjunction and Distality: The Hard Problem for Purely Probabilistic Causal Theories of Mental Content.William Roche & Elliott Sober - forthcoming - Synthese:1-34.
    The disjunction problem and the distality problem each presents a challenge that any theory of mental content must address. Here we consider their bearing on purely probabilistic causal theories. In addition to considering these problems separately, we consider a third challenge—that a theory must solve both. We call this “the hard problem.” We consider 8 basic ppc theories along with 240 hybrids of them, and show that some can handle the disjunction problem and some can handle the distality problem, but (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-24
    Introduction to a Systemic Theory of Meaning - March 2020 Update.Christophe Menant - manuscript
    Information and meanings are present everywhere around us and within ourselves. Specific studies have been implemented in order to link information and meaning (Linguistic, Semiotic, Biosemiotic, Psychology, Psychiatry, Biology, Neurology, Cognition, Artificial Intelligence... ). No general coverage is available for the notion of meaning. We propose to complement this lack by a system approach for meaning genaration. A Meaning Generator System based on constraint satisfaction is presented. It can be used for animals, humans and artificial agents, and makes available definitions (...)
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  3. added 2020-03-14
    Neo-Naturalism, Conciliatory Explanations, and Spatiotemporal Surprises.Uziel Awret - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
    Some materialists believe that physics is rich enough to bridge Levine's Explanatory Gap1, while others believe that it is not. Here I promote an intermediate position holding that physics is rich enough to explain why this gap seems more intractable than similar inter-theoretic explanatory gaps, without providing a full-blown “physical” explanation of consciousness. At a minimum, such an approach needs to explore the prospects of empirical discoveries that can diminish the power of anti-physicalist arguments like Chalmers's “conceivability argument”2 and Jackson's (...)
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  4. added 2020-02-07
    Is Semantic Information Meaningful Data?Luciano Floridi - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):351-370.
    There is no consensus yet on the definition of semantic information. This paper contributes to the current debate by criticising and revising the Standard Definition of semantic Information as meaningful data, in favour of the Dretske-Grice approach: meaningful and well-formed data constitute semantic information only if they also qualify as contingently truthful. After a brief introduction, SDI is criticised for providing necessary but insufficient conditions for the definition of semantic information. SDI is incorrect because truth-values do not supervene on semantic (...)
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  5. added 2019-12-09
    Disjunction and Distality: The Hard Problem for Purely Probabilistic Causal Theories of Mental Content.William Roche - forthcoming - Synthese:1-34.
    The disjunction problem and the distality problem each presents a challenge that any theory of mental content must address. Here we consider their bearing on purely probabilistic causal (ppc) theories. In addition to considering these problems separately, we consider a third challenge – that a theory must solve both. We call this “the hard problem.” We consider 8 basic ppc theories along with 240 hybrids of them, and show that some can handle the disjunction problem and some can handle the (...)
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  6. added 2019-11-04
    Are There Epistemic Conditions Necessary for Demonstrative Thought?Michael Barkasi - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    Starting with Gareth Evans, there’s an important tradition of theorizing about perception-based demonstrative thought which assigns necessary epistemic conditions to it. Its core idea is that demonstrative reference in thought is grounded in information links, understood as links which carry reliable information about their targets and which a subject exploits for demonstrative reference by tokening the mental files fed by these links. Perception, on these views, is not fundamental to perception-based demonstrative thought but is only the information link exploited in (...)
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  7. added 2019-11-02
    Informational Theories of Content and Mental Representation.Marc Artiga & Miguel Ángel Sebastián - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-15.
    Informational theories of semantic content have been recently gaining prominence in the debate on the notion of mental representation. In this paper we examine new-wave informational theories which have a special focus on cognitive science. In particular, we argue that these theories face four important difficulties: they do not fully solve the problem of error, fall prey to the wrong distality attribution problem, have serious difficulties accounting for ambiguous and redundant representations and fail to deliver a metasemantic theory of representation. (...)
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  8. added 2019-11-02
    Can Informational Theories Account for Metarepresentation?Miguel Ángel Sebastián & Marc Artiga - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):81-94.
    In this essay we discuss recent attempts to analyse the notion of representation, as it is employed in cognitive science, in purely informational terms. In particular, we argue that recent informational theories cannot accommodate the existence of metarepresentations. Since metarepresentations play a central role in the explanation of many cognitive abilities, this is a serious shortcoming of these proposals.
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  9. added 2019-11-02
    Teleosemantics, Infotel-Semantics and Circularity.Marc Artiga - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):583-603.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith and Nicholas Shea have argued that standard versions of teleosemantics render explanations of successful behavior by appealing to true beliefs circular and, consequently, non-explanatory. As an alternative, Shea has recently suggested an original teleosemantic account (that he calls ?Infotel-semantics?), which is supposed to be immune to the problem of circularity. The paper argues that the standard version of teleosemantics has a satisfactory reply to the circularity objection and that, in any case, Infotel-semantics is not better off than standard (...)
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  10. added 2019-08-16
    Millikan's Beyond Concepts Summary Notes.Dorit Bar-On - manuscript
    These summary notes on Ruth Millikan’s latest book Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information (OUP, 2017) were prepared by Dorit Bar-On for a discussion group that met in Summer 2018. The notes have been lightly edited by Millikan and prepared for online publication with the help of Drew Johnson.
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  11. added 2019-06-06
    The Semantic Shuffle: Shifting Emphasis in Dretske's Account of Representational Content.David Sturdee - 1997 - Erkenntnis 47 (1):89-103.
    In "Knowledge and the Flow of Information," Fred Dretske explains representational content by appealing to natural indication: a mental representation has its content in virtue of being a reliable natural indicator of a particular type of state of the world. His account fails for several reasons, not the least of which is that it cannot account for misrepresentation. Recognizing this, Dretske adds a twist in his more recent work on representational content : a mental representation acquires its semantic content when (...)
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  12. added 2019-06-06
    Best Test Theory of Extension.Robert D. Rupert - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
  13. added 2019-04-29
    Representation and Mental Representation.Robert D. Rupert - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):204-225.
    This paper engages critically with anti-representationalist arguments pressed by prominent enactivists and their allies. The arguments in question are meant to show that the “as-such” and “job-description” problems constitute insurmountable challenges to causal-informational theories of mental content. In response to these challenges, a positive account of what makes a physical or computational structure a mental representation is proposed; the positive account is inspired partly by Dretske’s views about content and partly by the role of mental representations in contemporary cognitive scientific (...)
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  14. added 2019-04-27
    Review of A Mark of the Mental. [REVIEW]Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (3):378-385.
    Karen Neander's A Mark of the Mental is a noteworthy and novel contribution to the long-running project of naturalizing intentionality. The aim of the book is to “solve the part of Brentano’s problem that is within reach” (3). Brentano's problem is the problem of explaining intentionality; the part of this problem that is supposedly within reach is that of explaining nonconceptual sensory-perceptual intentionality; and Neander aims to solve it via an informational teleosemantic theory. In this review, we provide a chapter-by-chapter (...)
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  15. added 2019-03-01
    Mental Representations and Millikan’s Theory of Intentional Content: Does Biology Chase Causality?Robert D. Rupert - 1999 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):113-140.
    In her landmark book, Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories (Millikan1984),1 Ruth Garrett Millikan utilizes the idea of a biological function to solve philosophical problems associated with the phenomena of language, thought, and meaning. Language and thought are activities of biological organisms, according to Millikan, and we should treat them as such when trying to answer related philosophical questions. Of special interest is Millikan’s treatment of intentionality. Here Millikan employs the notion of a biological function to explain what it is (...)
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  16. added 2018-12-15
    How Emotions Know: Naturalizing Epistemology Via Emotions.Cecilea Mun - 2019 - In Laura Candiotto (ed.), The Value of Emotions for Knowledge. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 27-50.
    In this chapter, I argue that we can understand how original intentionality (i.e., a genuine mental life) fits into a natural and scientific understanding of the world through an understanding of the import of the intentionality of emotions to our knowledge of the world in which we live. To do so, I first argue that emotions demonstrate our original intentionality (i.e., a genuine mental life). I then explain how the intentionality of emotions is necessary for us to have knowledge of (...)
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  17. added 2018-11-13
    Mindless Accuracy: On the Ubiquity of Content in Nature.Alex Morgan - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5403-5429.
    It is widely held in contemporary philosophy of mind that states with underived representational content are ipso facto psychological states. This view—the Content View—underlies a number of interesting philosophical projects, such as the attempt to pick out a psychological level of explanation, to demarcate genuinely psychological from non-psychological states, and to limn the class of states with phenomenal character. The most detailed and influential theories of underived representation in philosophy are the tracking theories developed by Fodor, Dretske, Millikan and others. (...)
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  18. added 2018-08-28
    Replies to Commentators.Radu J. Bogdan - 1988 - Mind and Language 3 (2):145-151.
  19. added 2018-07-23
    A Mark of the Mental: A Defence of Informational Teleosemantics.Karen Neander - 2017 - Cambridge, USA: MIT Press.
  20. added 2018-07-20
    Representations Are Rate-Distortion Sweet Spots.Manolo Martínez - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    Information is widely perceived as essential to the study of communication and representation; still, theorists working on these topics often take themselves not to be centrally concerned with "Shannon information", as it is often put, but with some other, sometimes called "semantic" or "nonnatural",kind of information. This perception is wrong. Shannon's theory of information is the only one we need. -/- I intend to make good on this last assertion by canvassing a fully (Shannon) informational answer to the metasemantic question (...)
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  21. added 2018-02-17
    “Assertion” and Intentionality.Jason Stanley - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (1):87-113.
    Robert Stalnaker argues that his causal-pragmatic account of the problem of intentionality commits him to a coarse-grained conception of the contents of mental states, where propositions are represented as sets of possible worlds. Stalnaker also accepts the "direct reference" theory of names, according to which co-referring names have the same content. Stalnaker's view of content is thus threatened by Frege's Puzzle. Stalnaker's classic paper "Assertion" is intended to provide a response to this threat. In this paper, I evaluate Stalnaker's claim (...)
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  22. added 2018-02-17
    How Self-Knowledge Can't Be Naturalized.Andreas Kemmerling - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 95 (3):311-328.
    In his book Naturalizing the Mind, Fred Dretske, among other things, gives what he thinks is a naturalist account of what he calls introspective knowledge.1 I shall not quarrel with his labels; I shall quarrel with what he tries to sell by using them. For him, introspective knowledge is “the mind’s direct knowledge of itself”,2 and he concentrates on knowledge of one’s own current mental occurrences, especially those which belong to the realm of sensory perception. An example he discusses is (...)
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  23. added 2018-02-17
    Content Naturalized.Luciano B. Mariano - 1999 - Philosophical Studies 96 (2):205-238.
  24. added 2018-01-21
    Information-Theoretic Philosophy of Mind.Jason Winning & William Bechtel - 2016 - In Luciano Floridi (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Information. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 347-360.
  25. added 2017-09-27
    Can Bohmian Quantum Information Help Us to Understand Consciousness?Paavo Pylkkänen - 2016 - In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS). Springer Publishing Company. pp. 76-87.
    The paper explores whether David Bohm’ s proposal about quantum theoretical active information, and the mind-matter scheme he developed on the basis of it, can help us to explain consciousness. Here it is important to acknowledge that other researchers in philosophy of mind and consciousness studies have also made use of the concept of information in their theories of mind and consciousness. For example, Dretske and Barwise and Seligman have explored the possibility that information in the sense of factual semantic (...)
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  26. added 2017-08-25
    The Senses as Signalling Systems.Todd Ganson - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):519-531.
    A central goal of philosophy of perception is to uncover the nature of sensory capacities. Ideally, we would like an account that specifies what conditions need to be met in order for an organism to count as having the capacity to sense or perceive its environment. And on the assumption that sensory states are the kinds of things that can be accurate or inaccurate, a further goal of philosophy of perception is to identify the accuracy conditions for sensory states. In (...)
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  27. added 2017-06-16
    Information, Constraint and Meaning. From the Pre-Biotic World to a Possible Post Human One. An Evolutionary Approach (IS4SI 2017).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The presentation proposes to complement an existing development on meaning generation for animals, humans and artificial agents by looking at what could have existed at pre-biotic times and what could be a post-human meaning generation. The core of the approach is based on an existing model for meaning generation: the Meaning Generator System (MGS). The MGS is part of an agent submitted to an internal constraint. The MGS generates a meaning when it receives an information that has a connection with (...)
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  28. added 2017-06-07
    Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Intentionality.Alex Morgan & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):119-139.
    We situate the debate on intentionality within the rise of cognitive neuroscience and argue that cognitive neuroscience can explain intentionality. We discuss the explanatory significance of ascribing intentionality to representations. At first, we focus on views that attempt to render such ascriptions naturalistic by construing them in a deflationary or merely pragmatic way. We then contrast these views with staunchly realist views that attempt to naturalize intentionality by developing theories of content for representations in terms of information and biological function. (...)
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  29. added 2017-03-03
    Information Flow in the Brain: Ordered Sequences of Metastable States.Andrew A. Fingelkurts & Alexander A. Fingelkurts - 2017 - Information 8 (1):22.
    In this brief overview paper, we analyse information flow in the brain. Although Shannon’s information concept, in its pure algebraic form, has made a number of valuable contributions to neuroscience, information dynamics within the brain is not fully captured by its classical description. These additional dynamics consist of self-organisation, interplay of stability/instability, timing of sequential processing, coordination of multiple sequential streams, circular causality between bottom-up and top-down operations, and information creation. Importantly, all of these processes are dynamic, hierarchically nested and (...)
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  30. added 2017-02-15
    Information. [REVIEW]P. K. H. - 1967 - Review of Metaphysics 20 (4):741-741.
    The contents of this book were originally published in the September 1966 issue of Scientific American. A more appropriate-but perhaps less "catchy"—title would have been "Computers." The book is all about them and what they can—and cannot—do. Conspicuously missing is a chapter on the underlying mathematical theories of information, control, and computation. Nevertheless, there is a good deal of interesting material between the covers of this book. Of greatest concern to philosophers are the chapters on "Information" by John McCarthy, "Computer (...)
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  31. added 2017-02-10
    Reply to Fred Dretske.Keith Lehrer - 1991 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 40:31-35.
  32. added 2017-01-27
    Philip P. Hanson (Ed.), Information, Language, and Cognition.J. A. Barnden - 1996 - Minds and Machines 6:95-100.
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  33. added 2017-01-25
    Information Flow and Impossible Situations.Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson - 2006 - Logique Et Analyse 49 (196):371-398.
  34. added 2017-01-21
    Is Knowledge Information-Produced Belief? A Defense of Dretske Against Some Critics.Anthony Doyle - 1985 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):33-46.
  35. added 2017-01-18
    Information Gaps as Communication Needs: A New Semantic Foundation for Some Non-Classical Logics. [REVIEW]Piero Pagliani - 1997 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 6 (1):63-99.
    Semantics connected to some information based metaphor are well-known in logic literature: a paradigmatic example is Kripke semantic for Intuitionistic Logic. In this paper we start from the concrete problem of providing suitable logic-algebraic models for the calculus of attribute dependencies in Formal Contexts with information gaps and we obtain an intuitive model based on the notion of passage of information showing that Kleene algebras, semi-simple Nelson algebras, three-valued ukasiewicz algebras and Post algebras of order three are, in a sense, (...)
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  36. added 2017-01-18
    Two Categories of Content.Andrew Woodfield - 1986 - Mind and Language 1 (4):319-54.
  37. added 2016-12-12
    Perception, Knowledge and Belief: Selected Essays.Fred Dretske - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
    This collection of essays by eminent philosopher Fred Dretske brings together work on the theory of knowledge and philosophy of mind spanning thirty years. The two areas combine to lay the groundwork for a naturalistic philosophy of mind. The fifteen essays focus on perception, knowledge, and consciousness. Together, they show the interconnectedness of Dretske's work in epistemology and his more contemporary ideas on philosophy of mind, shedding light on the links which can be made between the two. The first section (...)
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  38. added 2016-12-08
    On the Norms of Visual Argument: A Case for Normative Non-Revisionism.David Godden - 2017 - Argumentation 31 (2):395-431.
    Visual arguments can seem to require unique, autonomous evaluative norms, since their content seems irreducible to, and incommensurable with, that of verbal arguments. Yet, assertions of the ineffability of the visual, or of visual-verbal incommensurability, seem to preclude counting putatively irreducible visual content as functioning argumentatively. By distinguishing two notions of content, informational and argumentative, I contend that arguments differing in informational content can have equivalent argumentative content, allowing the same argumentative norms to be rightly applied in their evaluation.
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  39. added 2016-12-08
    The Maribor Papers in Naturalized Semantics.Jutronić Dunja (ed.) - 1997 - Pedagoška Fakulteta Maribor.
  40. added 2016-12-08
    From Information to Intentionality.Barry Loewer - 1987 - Synthese 70 (2):287 - 317.
  41. added 2016-07-17
    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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  42. added 2015-06-01
    Concepts, Introspection, and Phenomenal Consciousness: An Information-Theoretical Approach.Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere - 2005 - Noûs 39 (2):197-255.
    This essay is a sustained attempt to bring new light to some of the perennial problems in philosophy of mind surrounding phenomenal consciousness and introspection through developing an account of sensory and phenomenal concepts. Building on the information-theoretic framework of Dretske (1981), we present an informational psychosemantics as it applies to what we call sensory concepts, concepts that apply, roughly, to so-called secondary qualities of objects. We show that these concepts have a special informational character and semantic structure that closely (...)
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  43. added 2015-04-05
    Fred Dretske's Information-Based Theory of Intentional States.Brent Maxwell Smart - 1997 - Dissertation, The University of British Columbia (Canada)
    The purpose of this dissertation is to advance our understanding of the intentionality of mental states through a critical examination of Fred Dretske's theory of mind. ;Dretske's theorizing is constrained by his desire both to save central features of our "pretheoretic" conception of mind and, at the same time, to be appropriately "materialistic" . Dretske's materialism is captured in his claim that: " ... the crucial point is that whatever set of facts we select to analyze the mental are facts (...)
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  44. added 2015-04-05
    Fred I. Dretske, Knowledge and the Flow of Information. [REVIEW]Steven Savitt - 1983 - Philosophy in Review 3:55-58.
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  45. added 2015-04-04
    DRETSKE, F. I. "Knowledge and the Flow of Information". [REVIEW]J. W. Roxbee-cox - 1983 - Mind 92:457.
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  46. added 2015-03-23
    Fred I. Dretske, Knowledge and the Flow of Information Reviewed By.Steven F. Savitt - 1983 - Philosophy in Review 3 (2):55-58.
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  47. added 2015-03-22
    In Memoriam: Fred Dretske.Fred Adams - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 63:9-10.
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  48. added 2015-03-19
    Semantic Information and the Network Theory of Account.Luciano Floridi - 2012 - Synthese 184 (3):431-454.
    The article addresses the problem of how semantic information can be upgraded to knowledge. The introductory section explains the technical terminology and the relevant background. Section 2 argues that, for semantic information to be upgraded to knowledge, it is necessary and sufficient to be embedded in a network of questions and answers that correctly accounts for it. Section 3 shows that an information flow network of type A fulfils such a requirement, by warranting that the erotetic deficit, characterising the target (...)
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  49. added 2015-03-19
    Knowledge and the Flow of Information.Justin Leiber - 1987 - Review of Metaphysics 40 (3):569-570.
    That this is one of the most distinguished books in the excellent Bradford Books cognitive science/philosophy series is suggested by the March 1983 issue of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, in which we find a precis of the book, some twenty commentaries, and Dretske's replies. Physicalists and anti-physicalists in psychology have both stressed the importance of "top-down" strategies and have debated, prospectively, about the likelihood that we eventually will have suitable reductions, or explanatory instantiations, of psychological generations in neurophysiological terms. Dretske (...)
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  50. added 2014-10-31
    Placement, Grounding, and Mental Content.Kelly Trogdon - 2015 - In C. Daly (ed.), Palgrave Handbook on Philosophical Methods. New York, NY, USA: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 481-496.
    Grounding-theoretic reformulation of Fodor's theory of content that addresses recalcitrant Quinean concerns.
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