About this topic
Summary Teleological accounts of mental content seek to account for the contents of our mental states in terms of the biological functions of the mechanisms that produce and use those states, and/or the functions of those states themselves. Such accounts are naturalistic because they posit the scientifically respectable, non-semantic property of biological function to explain why our mental states have the contents that they have. The main objection to teleological accounts is that they are unable to attribute determinate functions to the mechanisms that produce and use mental states, and so are unable to attribute determinate contents to those states. The major proponents of teleological accounts offer contrasting responses to this objection, which turn on differences in their respective theoretical frameworks.
Key works Millikan 1984 is the initial statement of the most influential version of the teleological account, while Millikan 1989 provides a more accessible overview. Other key papers on this version of the account are collected in Millikan 1993Papineau 1984 and Papineau 1987 introduce a rival teleological account. The indeterminacy problem for such accounts, first raised in Fodor 1990, is addressed in Neander 1995 and Papineau 1998, which also offer contrasting responses to the problem. The main papers on the notion of biological function are collected in Ariew et al 2002, while views on the current state of play in the literature on teleological accounts can be found in Macdonald & Papineau 2006
Introductions A useful overview article on teleological accounts is Neander 2004, while a recent summary of the most influential version of the account is Millikan 1989. An accessible introduction to the rival version of the account can be found in Papineau 1987
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1 — 50 / 224
  1. added 2019-01-07
    Intentionality, Belief, and the Logical Problem of Evil.Kenneth L. Pearce - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    This paper provides a new defence against the logical problem of evil, based on the naturalistic functional/teleological theory of mind (NFT). I argue that if the NFT is self-consistent then it is consistent with theism. Further, the NFT entails that it is not possible for created minds to exist in the absence of evil. It follows that if the NFT is self-consistent then the existence of God is consistent with the existence of evil.
  2. added 2018-12-15
    How Emotions Know: Naturalizing Epistemology Via Emotions.Cecilea Mun - forthcoming - In Laura Candiotto (ed.), The Value of Emotions for Knowledge. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
    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 (...)
  3. added 2018-11-13
    Pictures, Plants, and Propositions.Alex Morgan - forthcoming - Minds and Machines:1-21.
    Philosophers have traditionally held that propositions mark the domain of rational thought and inference. Many philosophers have held that only conceptually sophisticated creatures like us could have propositional attitudes. But in recent decades, philosophers have adopted increasingly liberal views of propositional attitudes that encompass the mental states of various non-human animals. These views now sit alongside more traditional views within the philosophical mainstream. In this paper I argue that liberalized views of propositional attitudes are so liberal that they encompass states (...)
  4. 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. (...)
  5. added 2018-11-11
    What Biological Functions Are and Why They Matter.Justin Garson - 2019 - Cambridge University Press.
    The biological functions debate is a perennial topic in the philosophy of science. In the first full-length account of the nature and importance of biological functions for many years, Justin Garson presents an innovative new theory, the 'generalized selected effects theory of function', which seamlessly integrates evolutionary and developmental perspectives on biological functions. He develops the implications of the theory for contemporary debates in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of medicine and psychiatry, the philosophy of biology, and biology itself, (...)
  6. added 2018-10-08
    Emergence of Public Meaning From a Teleosemantic and Game Theoretical Perspective.Karim Baraghith - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy (AO):1-30.
    The generalized theory of evolution suggests that evolutionary algorithms apply to biological and cultural processes like language alike. Variation, selection and reproduction constitute abstract and formal traits of complex, open and often self-regulating systems. Accepting this basic assumption provides us with a powerful background methodology for this investigation: explaining the emergence and proliferation of semantic patterns, that become conventional. A teleosemantic theory of public (conventional) meaning (Millikan 1984; 2005) grounded in a generalized theory of evolution explains the proliferation of public (...)
  7. added 2018-09-24
    Representation and the Active Consumer.Patrick Butlin - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    One of the central tasks for naturalistic theories of representation is to say what it takes for something to be a representation, and some leading theories have been criticised for being too liberal. Prominent discussions of this problem have proposed a producer-oriented solution; it is argued that representations must be produced by systems employing perceptual constancy mechanisms. However, representations may be produced by simple transducers if they are consumed in the right way. It is characteristic of representations to be consumed (...)
  8. added 2018-09-21
    Ruth Millikan's On Clear and Confused Ideas.David Papineau & Nicholas Shea - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (2):453-466.
  9. added 2018-09-18
    Review of Karen Neander’s A Mark of the Mental: In Defense of Informational Teleosemantics. [REVIEW]Justin Garson - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):726-734.
  10. added 2018-08-22
    Strategic Content: Representations of Epistemic Modality in Biosemantics.Gunnar Björnsson - 2018 - Theoria 84 (3):259-277.
    A central idea in Ruth Millikan’s biosemantics is that a representation’s content is restricted to conditions required for the normal success of actions that it has as its function to guide. This paper raises and responds to a problem for this idea. The problem is that the success requirement seems to block us from saying that epistemic modal judgments represent our epistemic circumstances. For the normal success of actions guided by these judgments seems to depend on what is actually the (...)
  11. added 2018-07-23
    A Mark of the Mental: A Defence of Informational Teleosemantics.Karen Neander - 2017 - Cambridge, USA: MIT Press.
  12. added 2018-06-28
    Why Mental Content is Not Like Water: Reconsidering the Reductive Claims of Teleosemantics.Peter Schulte - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    According to standard teleosemantics, intentional states are selectional states. This claim is put forward not as a conceptual analysis, but as a ‘theoretical reduction’—an a posteriori hypothesis analogous to ‘water = H2O’. Critics have tried to show that this meta-theoretical conception of teleosemantics leads to unacceptable consequences. In this paper, I argue that there is indeed a fundamental problem with the water/H2O analogy, as it is usually construed, and that teleosemanticists should therefore reject it. Fortunately, there exists a viable alternative (...)
  13. added 2018-06-28
    Biosemantics and Words That Don't Represent.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2018 - Theoria 84 (3):229-241.
  14. added 2018-04-11
    Perceiving the World Outside: How to Solve the Distality Problem for Informational Teleosemantics.Peter Schulte - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):349-369.
    Perceptual representations have distal content: they represent external objects and their properties, not light waves or retinal images. This basic fact presents a fundamental problem for ‘input-oriented’ theories of perceptual content. As I show in the first part of this paper, this even holds for what is arguably the most sophisticated input-oriented theory to date, namely Karen Neander's informational teleosemantics. In the second part of the paper, I develop a new version of informational teleosemantics, drawing partly on empirical psychology, and (...)
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  15. added 2018-03-12
    Categorical Desires and the Badness of Animal Death.Matt Bower & Bob Fischer - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (1):97-111.
    One way to defend humane animal agriculture is to insist that the deaths of animals aren’t bad for them. Christopher Belshaw has argued for this position in the most detail, maintaining that death is only bad when it frustrates categorical desires, which he thinks animals lack. We are prepared to grant his account of the badness of death, but we are skeptical of the claim that animals don’t have categorical desires. We contend that Belshaw’s argument against the badness of animal (...)
  16. added 2018-03-10
    Constancy Mechanisms and the Normativity of Perception.Zed Adams & Chauncey Maher - 2017 - In Zed Adams & Jacob Browning (eds.), Giving a Damn: Essays in Dialogue with John Haugeland. Cambridge, MA: MIT Pres.
    In this essay, we draw on John Haugeland’s work in order to argue that Burge is wrong to think that exercises of perceptual constancy mechanisms suffice for perceptual representation. Although Haugeland did not live to read or respond to Burge’s Origins of Objectivity, we think that his work contains resources that can be developed into a critique of the very foundation of Burge’s approach. Specifically, we identify two related problems for Burge. First, if (what Burge calls) mere sensory responses are (...)
  17. added 2018-03-05
    All in the Family.Willem A. Devries - 2013 - In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and Her Critics. Wiley. pp. 259--280.
    This article considers Ruth Millikan's relationship to Robert Brandom and most especially their common influence, Wilfrid Sellars.
  18. 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 (...)
  19. added 2017-08-18
    ‘Steps’ to Agency: Gregory Bateson, Perception, and Biosemantics.Peter Harries-Jones - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (2):211-228.
    Gregory Bateson was welcomed into Biosemiotics as one of its precursors along with C. S. Peirce and Jacob von Uexküll He certainly endorsed Peirce pragmatic concern with learning as an essential characteristic of mammalian life, and also endorsed von Uexküll’s notion that the fundamental unit of animate existence is organism plus econiche. But he was at odds both with the subjectivism and with the cognitivism that connects Peirce to von Uexküll. Bateson rests his case on information theory which, he believes (...)
  20. added 2017-07-06
    Ahistorical Teleosemantics: An Alternative to Nanay.Mark Bauer - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (2):158-176.
    The dominant view in teleosemantics is that semantic functions are historically determined. That reliance on history has been subject to repeated criticism. To sidestep such criticisms, Nanay has recently offered an ahistorical alternative that swaps out historical properties for modal properties. Nanay's ahistorical modal alternative suffers, I think, serious problems of its own. I suggest here another ahistorical alternative for teleosemantics. The motivation for both the historical view and Nanay's is to provide a naturalistic basis to characterize some item as (...)
  21. added 2017-07-06
    A Naturalistic Account of Content and an Application to Modal Epistemology.Manolo Martínez - 2010 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
  22. added 2017-06-09
    Whose Purposes? Biological Teleology and Intentionality.Javier González de Prado Salas - 2018 - Synthese 195 (10):4507-4524.
    Teleosemantic theories aspire to develop a naturalistic account of intentional agency and thought by appeal to biological teleology. In particular, most versions of teleosemantics study the emergence of intentionality in terms of biological purposes introduced by Darwinian evolution. The aim of this paper is to argue that the sorts of biological purposes identified by these evolutionary approaches do not allow for a satisfactory account of intentionality. More precisely, I claim that such biological purposes should be attributed to reproductive chains or (...)
  23. added 2017-03-06
    Epistemological Holism and Semantic Holism.William Cornwell - 2002 - In Yves Bouchard (ed.), Perspectives on Coherentism. Aylmar, Quebec: Editions du Scribe. pp. 17-33.
    This paper draws upon the works of Wilfred Sellars, Jerry Fodor, and Ruth Millikan to argue against epistemological holism and conceptual holism. In the first section, I content that contrary to confirmation holism, there are individual beliefs ("basic beliefs") that receive nondoxastic/noninferential warrant. In the earliest stages of cognitive development, modular processes produce basic beliefs about how things are. The disadvantage of this type of basic belief is that the person may possess information that should have defeated the belief but (...)
  24. added 2017-02-11
    Function, Selection, and Construction in the Brain.Justin Garson - 2012 - Synthese 189 (3):451-481.
    A common misunderstanding of the selected effects theory of function is that natural selection operating over an evolutionary time scale is the only functionbestowing process in the natural world. This construal of the selected effects theory conflicts with the existence and ubiquity of neurobiological functions that are evolutionary novel, such as structures underlying reading ability. This conflict has suggested to some that, while the selected effects theory may be relevant to some areas of evolutionary biology, its relevance to neuroscience is (...)
  25. added 2016-12-15
    Sensory Malfunctions, Limitations, and Trade-Offs.Todd Ganson - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1705-1713.
    Teleological accounts of sensory normativity treat normal functioning for a species as a standard: sensory error involves departure from normal functioning for the species, i.e. sensory malfunction. Straightforward reflection on sensory trade-offs reveals that normal functioning for a species can exhibit failures of accuracy. Acknowledging these failures of accuracy is central to understanding the adaptations of a species. To make room for these errors we have to go beyond the teleological framework and invoke the notion of an ideal observer from (...)
  26. 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 (...)
  27. added 2016-12-12
    What Sensory Signals Are About.C. L. Elder - 1998 - Analysis 58 (4):273-276.
    In ‘Of Sensory Systems and the “Aboutness” of Mental States’, Kathleen Akins (1996) argues against what she calls ‘the traditional view’ about sensory systems, according to which they are detectors of features in the environment outside the organism. As an antidote, she considers the case of thermoreception, a system whose sensors send signals about how things stand with themselves and their immediate dermal surround (a ‘narcissistic’ sensory system); and she closes by suggesting that the signals from many sensory systems may (...)
  28. added 2016-12-12
    Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book explains the relationship between intelligence and environmental complexity, and in so doing links philosophy of mind to more general issues about the relations between organisms and environments, and to the general pattern of 'externalist' explanations. The author provides a biological approach to the investigation of mind and cognition in nature. In particular he explores the idea that the function of cognition is to enable agents to deal with environmental complexity. The history of the idea in the work of (...)
  29. added 2016-12-08
    Meaning and the External World.Kenneth G. Ferguson - 2009 - Erkenntnis 70 (3):299-311.
    Realism, defined as a justified belief in the existence of the external world, is jeopardized by ‘meaning rationalism,’ the classic theory of meaning that sees the extension of words as a function of the intensions of individual speakers, with no way to ensure that these intensions actually correspond to anything in the external world. To defend realism, Ruth Millikan ( 1984 , 1989a , b , 1993 , 2004 , 2005 ) offers a biological theory of meaning called ‘teleosemantics’ in (...)
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  30. added 2016-12-08
    Teleosemantics and Useless Content.Andrés L. Jaume - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 42:85-90.
    Teleosemantic theories of content constitute a mixed family of different proposals and accounts about what consists mental content. In the present paper, I would like examine the scope and limits of a particular and well defined teleosemantic theory such as Millikan’s account. My aim entails presenting arguments in order to show how her theory of mental content is unnable of giving a complete account of the whole mental life almost for adult human agents without commiting certain adaptationist assumptions. I am (...)
  31. added 2016-12-08
    Representation in the Genome and in Other Inheritance Systems.Nicholas Shea - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):313-331.
    There is ongoing controversy as to whether the genome is a representing system. Although it is widely recognised that DNA carries information, both correlating with and coding for various outcomes, neither of these implies that the genome has semantic properties like correctness or satisfaction conditions, In the Scope of Logic, Methodology, and the Philosophy of Sciences, Vol. II. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 387–400). Here a modified version of teleosemantics is applied to the genome to show that it does indeed have semantic (...)
  32. added 2016-12-06
    Delusions and Beliefs: A Philosophical Inquiry.Kengo Miyazono - 2018 - Routledge.
  33. added 2016-09-19
    Intencionalidade: mecanismo e interacção DOI:10.5007/1808-1711.2010v14n2p255.Porfírio Silva - 2011 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 14 (2).
    In this essay we try an answer to the question has intentionality to be reduced to anything? We propose that it is possible to reduce any variety of intentionality to a specification of mechanisms (internal organization of the items involved in a given intentional phenomenon) and a historical pattern of interaction (structure of mutual significant relations historically acquired by different items involved in the same intentional phenomenon). We first clarify the meaning of this proposal having recourse to the Ruth Millikan’s (...)
  34. added 2016-06-10
    Function and Causal Relevance of Content.Marcin Miłkowski - 2016 - New Ideas in Psychology 40 (94-102).
    In this paper, I focus on a problem related to teleological theories of content namely, which notion of function makes content causally relevant? It has been claimed that some functional accounts of content make it causally irrelevant, or epiphenomenal; in which case, such notions of function could no longer act as the pillar of naturalized semantics. By looking closer at biological questions about behavior, I argue that past discussion has been oriented towards an ill-posed question. What I defend is a (...)
  35. added 2016-05-16
    Teleosemantic Modeling of Cognitive Representations.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):483-505.
    Naturalistic theories of representation seek to specify the conditions that must be met for an entity to represent another entity. Although these approaches have been relatively successful in certain areas, such as communication theory or genetics, many doubt that they can be employed to naturalize complex cognitive representations. In this essay I identify some of the difficulties for developing a teleosemantic theory of cognitive representations and provide a strategy for accommodating them: to look into models of signaling in evolutionary game (...)
  36. added 2016-04-04
    Why Tracking Theories Should Allow for Clean Cases of Reliable Misrepresentation.Angela Mendelovici - 2016 - Disputatio 8 (42):57--92.
    Reliable misrepresentation is getting things wrong in the same way all the time. In Mendelovici 2013, I argue that tracking theories of mental representation cannot allow for certain kinds of reliable misrepresentation, and that this is a problem for those views. Artiga 2013 defends teleosemantics from this argument. He agrees with Mendelovici 2013 that teleosemantics cannot account for clean cases of reliable misrepresentation, but argues that this is not a problem for the views. This paper clarifies and improves the argument (...)
  37. added 2016-03-30
    Probabilistic Foundations of Teleology and Content.Marshall David Abrams - 2002 - Dissertation, The University of Chicago
    Ruth Millikan and others advocate theories which attempt to naturalize wide mental content in terms of functions, where the latter are in turn based in part on facts concerning past natural selection. While I support basing content on functions which are constituted by facts about the past, I argue that it is a mistake to base content on selection. This dissertation works out an alternative concept of function which is a more appropriate basis for a theory of mental content. In (...)
  38. added 2016-03-16
    Naturalized Semantics and Metaphysical Ontology: Two Complementary Perspectives.Sofia Inês Albornoz Stein - 2015 - Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 71 (4):821-832.
    Resumo: Meu objetivo neste artigo é apresentar uma vinculação teórica possível entre uma semântica naturalizada e abordagens metafísicas tradicionais em ontologia. A semântica naturalizada precisa estabelecer algumas pressuposições ontológicas, assim como a ontologia tradicional. Porém o método usado é bem diferente e parece levar a diferentes resultados. Isso é apenas parcialmente correto. A análise conceitual metafísica, que é parte de novas abordagens metafísicas contemporâneas, usa o conhecimento científico de maneira bastante diversa à semântica naturalizada. Porém existe um elo: as reflexões (...)
  39. added 2016-03-15
    Simplicity and Elegance in Millikan’s Account of Productivity: Reply to Martinez.Brian Leahy - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):503-516.
    This paper responds to a problem, raised by Martinez, for Millikan’s explanation of the interpretability of novel signs in terms of mapping functions. I argue that Martinez’s critique is a logically weakened version of Kripke’s skeptical argument about rule following. Responding to Martinez requires two things. First, we must correctly understand the role of simplicity and elegance in choosing the correct mapping function for a signaling system. Second, we need to understand that mapping functions are descriptions of the features that (...)
  40. added 2016-02-11
    Teleosemantics, Swampman, and Strong Representationalism.Uwe Peters - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):273–288.
    Teleosemantics explains mental representation in terms of biological function and selection history. One of the main objections to the account is the so-called ‘Swampman argument’ (Davidson 1987), which holds that there could be a creature with mental representation even though it lacks a selection history. A number of teleosemanticists reject the argument by emphasising that it depends on assuming a creature that is fi ctitious and hence irrelevant for teleosemantics because the theory is only concerned with representations in real-world organisms (...)
  41. added 2016-02-02
    Mentale Gehalte und erweiterter Geist: Warum das Argument der Nichtabgeleitetheit scheitert.Fabian Hundertmark - 2016 - In Jan G. Michel, Kim J. Boström & Michael Pohl (eds.), Ist der Geist im Kopf?: Beiträge zur These des erweiterten Geistes. mentis. pp. 133-160.
    Der These des erweiterten Geistes zufolge befinden sich manche mentalen Repräsentationen außerhalb der körperlichen Grenzen der Wesen, zu denen sie gehören. Einer der stärksten Einwände gegen diese These stellt das Argument der Nichtabgeleitetheit von Frederick Adams, Ken Aizawa und Jerry Fodor dar. Dieses Argument setzt voraus, dass genuine mentale Repräsentationen nichtabgeleitete Gehalte haben – ihre semantischen Eigenschaften sind also nicht durch Absichten, Wünsche oder Konventionen konstituiert. Repräsentationen mit nichtabgeleitetem Gehalt finden sich jedoch, so das Argument weiter, nur innerhalb der körperlichen (...)
  42. added 2016-01-25
    Functions and Mental Representation: The Theoretical Role of Representations and its Real Nature.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (2):317-336.
    Representations are not only used in our folk-psychological explanations of behaviour, but are also fruitfully postulated, for example, in cognitive science. The mainstream view in cognitive science maintains that our mind is a representational system. This popular view requires an understanding of the nature of the entities they are postulating. Teleosemantic theories face this challenge, unpacking the normativity in the relation of representation by appealing to the teleological function of the representing state. It has been argued that, if intentionality is (...)
  43. added 2015-09-01
    IV. Normativität und Bewusstsein.Eva-Maria Engelen - 2014 - In Vom Leben Zur Bedeutung: Philosophische Studien Zum Verhältnis von Gefühl, Bewusstsein Und Sprache. De Gruyter. pp. 129-162.
    Emotionen sind als erlebte Bewertungen eine Form von Normativität, die intrinsisch im Spüren enthalten ist, also weder explizit gefolgert noch propositional gefasst ist. Geprüft wird in diesem Kapitel, ob Emotionen dadurch als natürliche Grundlage selbst für moralische oder genuine Normativität gelten können und sich diese letztere Form der Normativität daher auf biologisch angelegte Formen von Normativität reduzieren lässt. Diese Diskussion weist insofern Überschneidungen mit den in den vorangegangenen Kapiteln erörterten Fragen auf, als die verschiedenen Formen der Bewertung mit verschiedenen Bewusstseinsstufen (...)
  44. added 2015-08-31
    Putting Unicepts to Work: A Teleosemantic Perspective on the Infant Mindreading Puzzle.John Michael - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4365-4388.
    In this paper, I show how theoretical discussion of recent research on the abilities of infants and young children to represent other agents’ beliefs has been shaped by a descriptivist conception of mental content, i.e., to the notion that the distal content of a mental representation is fixed by the core body of knowledge that is associated with that mental representation. I also show how alternative conceptions of mental content—and in particular Ruth Millikan’s teleosemantic approach—make it possible to endorse the (...)
  45. added 2015-04-03
    The Causal Role Argument Against Doxasticism About Delusions.Kengo Miyazono & Lisa Bortolotti - 2014 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies (3):30-50.
    In this paper we consider an argument that is very influential in the philosophical literature, the argument from causal role against the view that delusions are beliefs. The argument has two premises, that many delusions fail to play belief-roles and that playing belief-roles is necessary for a mental state to be a belief. We assess both premises and suggest that they can be resisted.
  46. added 2015-03-30
    Teleofunctionalism and the Normativity of Practical Rationality.David DiDomenico - unknown
    In this thesis, I apply teleofunctionalism to a current debate concerning the normativity of practical rationality. Assuming teleofunctionalism is the correct theory of mental phenomena, I argue that it can provide a promising account of the normativity of practical rationality. This claim is motivated by the idea that a capacity to represent internal states, external states, and relations between these states as reasons for action has a teleofunction, and is thus a source of normativity. This teleofunction is marked by a (...)
  47. added 2015-03-30
    The Normativity Problem: Evolution and Naturalized Semantics.Mason Cash - 2008 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 29 (1-2):99-137.
    Representation is a pivotal concept in cognitive science, yet there is a serious obstacle to a naturalistic account of representations’ semantic content and intentionality. A representation having a determinate semantic content distinguishes correct from incorrect representation. But such correctness is a normative matter. Explaining how such norms can be part of a naturalistic cognitive science is what I call the normativity problem. Teleosemantics attempts to naturalize such norms by showing that evolution by natural selection establishes neural mechanisms’ functions, and such (...)
  48. added 2015-03-23
    Millikan, Realism, and Sameness.Crawford L. Elder - 2013 - In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and Her Critics. Wiley. pp. 155--175.
  49. added 2015-01-03
    Lockian teleosemantics.Sally Ferguson - 2001 - Locke Studies 1:105-122.
  50. added 2015-01-03
    Ahistorical Intentional Content.Martin Kurthen - 1994 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 25 (2):241 - 259.
    One of the main problems of current theory of intentionality concerns the possibility of ahistorical intentional content, that is, content in the absence of any developmental history of the respective item. Biosemanticists like Millikan (1984) argue that content is essentially historical, while computationalists like Cummins (1989) hold that a system's current ahistorical state alone determines content. In the present paper, this problem is discussed in terms of some popular 'cosmic accident' thought experiments, and the conceptual framework of these experiments is (...)
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