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  1. 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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  2. Rule-Following II: Recent Work and New Puzzles.Indrek Reiland - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
    ‘Rule-following’ is a name for a cluster of phenomena where we seem both guided and “normatively” constrained by something general in performing particular actions. Understanding the phenomenon is important because of its connection to meaning, representation, and content. This article gives an overview of the philosophical discussion of rule-following with emphasis on Kripke’s skeptical paradox and recent work on possible solutions. Part I of this two-part contribution was devoted to the basic issues from Wittgenstein to Kripke. Part II is about (...)
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  3. Seeing Without Discriminating.Ayoob Shahmoradi - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    I distinguish five types of discrimination, three of which are personal-level and distinctively visual. I explain their implication relations. Then I argue that the plausibility of the claim that seeing something requires discriminating it, as opposed to simply attributing some properties to it, hinges on the type of discrimination under consideration. A weak form of discrimination trivializes the debate. Stronger notions of discrimination, however, cannot be understood without attribution (i.e., representation-as). Attribution appears to form the fundamental level of personal-level representation.
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  4. ULTA-AI.Ilexa Yardley - 2024 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    Beyond current existential technology: intelligent anarchy and the cogent explanation for, what humans identify as, ‘representation.’ And, therefore, materialization and identification (interpretation, intention, attention).
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  5. The Structure of Analog Representation.Andrew Y. Lee, Joshua Myers & Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2023 - Noûs 57 (1):209-237.
    This paper develops a theory of analog representation. We first argue that the mark of the analog is to be found in the nature of a representational system’s interpretation function, rather than in its vehicles or contents alone. We then develop the rulebound structure theory of analog representation, according to which analog systems are those that use interpretive rules to map syntactic structural features onto semantic structural features. The theory involves three degree-theoretic measures that capture three independent ways in which (...)
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  6. Facing Up to the Problem of Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):228-247.
    We distinguish between different problems of “aboutness”: the “hard” problem of explaining the everyday phenomenon of intentionality and three less challenging “easy” sets of problems concerning the posits of folk psychology, the notions of representation invoked in the mind‐brain sciences, and the intensionality (with an “s”) of mental language. The problem of intentionality is especially hard in that, as is the case with the hard problem of phenomenal consciousness, there is no clear path to a solution using current methods. We (...)
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  7. Organized representations forming a computationally useful processing structure.Nicholas Shea - 2023 - Synthese 202 (6):1-20.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith recently introduced the idea of representational ‘organization’. When a collection of representations form an organized family, similar representational vehicles carry similar contents. For example, where neural firing rate represents numerosity (an analogue magnitude representation), similar firing rates represent similar numbers of items. Organization has been elided with structural representation, but the two are in fact distinct. An under-appreciated merit of representational organization is the way it facilitates computational processing. Representations from different organized families can interact, for example to (...)
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  8. Pragmatist Quietism: A Metaethical System.Andrew Sepielli - 2022 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    The claim that there are objective ethical truths has attracted its share of doubters. Many have thought that such truths would require an extra-ethical foundation or vindication—in metaphysics, or the philosophy of language, or epistemology—and have worried that no such thing is available. Pragmatist Quietism argues that, on the contrary, there are objective ethical truths, and that these neither require nor admit of a foundation or vindication from outside of ethics. Recognizing that the idea of an ethical realm untethered from (...)
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  9. Circularity.Ilexa Yardley - 2022 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  10. Why go for a computation-based approach to cognitive representation.Dimitri Coelho Mollo - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6875-6895.
    An influential view in cognitive science is that computation in cognitive systems is semantic, conceptually depending on representation: to compute is to manipulate representations. I argue that accepting the non-semantic teleomechanistic view of computation lays the ground for a promising alternative strategy, in which computation helps to explain and naturalise representation, rather than the other way around. I show that this computation-based approach to representation presents six decisive advantages over the semantic view. I claim that it can improve the two (...)
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  11. Putting I-Thoughts to Work.Santiago Echeverri - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (7):345-372.
    A traditional view holds that the self-concept is essentially indexical. In a highly influential article, Ruth Millikan famously held that the self-concept should be understood as a Millian name with a sui generis functional role. This article presents a novel explanatory argument against the Millian view and in favor of the indexical view. The argument starts from a characterization of the self-concept as a device of information integration. It then shows that the indexical view yields a better explanation of the (...)
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  12. Foucault, Deleuze, and Nietzsche.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    The power of representation and the representation of power, and, the exploding NFT market. Euclid's error and the mathematics behind representation, identification, and interpretation.
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  13. Universal Tokenization.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  14. Biomimetics (Biomimicry) (Biomemetics).Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
    Biomimetics (biomimicry) (biomemetics) proves the conservation of a circle is responsible for the tokenization of Nature (and, therefore, for (relative) identity in general).
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  15. Why Crypto-Everything is Here to Stay.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  16. What Modern Physicists are 'Discovering'.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  17. Eliminating the Speed of Light as a ‘Constant’.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Conservation of a Circle is the core dynamic, and, therefore, the only 'constant' in Nature.
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  18. On the Difference Between Realistic and Fantastic Imagining.Christopher Gauker - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1563-1582.
    When we imaginatively picture what might happen, we may take what we imagine to be either realistic or fantastic. A wine glass falling to the floor and shattering is realistic. A wine glass falling and morphing into a bird and flying away is fantastic. What does the distinction consist in? Two important necessary conditions are here defined. The first is a condition on the realistic representation of spatial configuration, grounded in an account of the imagistic representation of spatial configuration. The (...)
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  19. Augustine on Active Perception, Awareness, and Representation.Tamer Nawar - 2020 - Phronesis 66 (1):84-110.
    It is widely thought that Augustine thinks perception is, in some distinctive sense, an active process and that he takes conscious awareness to be constitutive of perception. I argue that conscious awareness is not straightforwardly constitutive of perception and that Augustine is best understood as an indirect realist. I then clarify Augustine’s views concerning the nature and role of diachronically unified conscious awareness and mental representation in perception, the nature of the soul’s intentio, and the precise sense in which perception (...)
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  20. Representation in Cognitive Science: Replies.Nicholas Shea - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (3):402-412.
    In their constructive reviews, Frances Egan, Randy Gallistel and Steven Gross have raised some important problems for the account of content advanced by Nicholas Shea in Representation in Cognitive Science. Here the author addresses their main challenges. Egan argues that the account includes an unrecognised pragmatic element; and that it makes contents explanatorily otiose. Gallistel raises questions about homomorphism and correlational information. Gross puts the account to work to resolve a dispute about probabilistic contents in perception, but argues that a (...)
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  21. What Are Mental Representations?Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dołęga & Tobias Schlicht (eds.) - 2020 - New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    Mental representation is one of core theoretical constructs within cognitive science and, together with the introduction of the computer as a model for the mind, is responsible for enabling the ‘cognitive turn’ in psychology and associated fields. Conceiving of cognitive processes, such as perception, motor control, and reasoning, as processes that consist in the manipulation of contentful vehicles representing the world has allowed us to refine our explanations of behavior and has led to tremendous empirical advancements. Despite the central role (...)
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  22. Circular Thinking.Ilexa Yardley - 2020 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Circular Thinking is essential (required) in order to understand ‘reality’ (Nature in general)… including the relationship between mind and matter (abstraction and representation).
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  23. The Threshold of Representations. Integrating Semiotics and the Cognitive Sciences.Marta Caravà - 2019 - Versus 1:157-174.
    I assess the conditions that philosophers of mind usually use to identify mental representations. I argue in favor of a minimal definition of mental representation, which is similar to definitions endorsed by some philosophers of embodied cognition. I claim that, even if we endorse this minimal definition of mental representation, important aspects of perception cannot be explained in representational terms. Therefore I suggest endorsing a non-representational approach to perception made of a combination of the enactive approach and ecological psychology and (...)
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  24. Entity Realism About Mental Representations.Bence Nanay - 2019 - Erkenntnis 87 (1):75-91.
    The concept of mental representation has long been considered to be central concept of philosophy of mind and cognitive science. But not everyone agrees. Neo-behaviorists aim to explain the mind without positing any representations. My aim here is not to assess the merits and demerits of neo-behaviorism, but to take their challenge seriously and ask the question: What justifies the attribution of representations to an agent? Both representationalists and neo-behaviorists tend to take it for granted that the real question about (...)
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  25. Predication and Two Concepts of Judgment.Indrek Reiland - 2019 - In Brian Andrew Ball & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), The Act and Object of Judgment: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives. New York: Routledge. pp. 217-234.
    Recently, there’s been a lot of interest in a research program that tries to understand propositional representation in terms of the subject’s performance of sub-propositional mental acts like reference and predication (e. g. Burge 2010, Hanks 2015, Soames 2010, 2015). For example, on one version of the view, for a subject to predicate the property of being a composer of Arvo just is what it is to perform the to the basic propositional act of judging that Arvo is a composer (...)
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  26. Predication and the Frege–Geach problem.Indrek Reiland - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):141-159.
    Several philosophers have recently appealed to predication in developing their theories of cognitive representation and propositions. One central point of difference between them is whether they take predication to be forceful or neutral and whether they take the most basic cognitive representational act to be judging or entertaining. Both views are supported by powerful reasons and both face problems. Many think that predication must be forceful if it is to explain representation. However, the standard ways of implementing the idea give (...)
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  27. Disjunction and distality: the hard problem for purely probabilistic causal theories of mental content.William Roche - 2019 - Synthese 198 (8):7197-7230.
    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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  28. Naturalized Representations—a Useful Goal or a Useful Fiction?Piotr Wilkin - 2019 - Studia Semiotyczne—English Supplement 30:5-19.
    One of the key concepts of naturalized epistemology as well as the cognitive sciences that stem from it is the naturalized concept of mental representation. Within this naturalized concept, many attempts have been made to unify the notion of representation error. This text makes an attempt to argue against the adequacy of using a naturalized concept of representation error as well as casts doubt on the wide program of naturalizing concepts related to human conceptuality.
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  29. Sellars on Descartes.Christian Barth - 2018 - In Luca Corti & Antonio Nunziante (eds.), Sellars and the History of Modern Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 15-35.
    This essay is a critical assessment of Sellars' interpretation and criticism of Descartes. It argues that Sellars made several mistakes in his view of Descartes, although the general thrust of his critique is sound.
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  30. Representing is something that we do, not a structure that we “use”: Reply to Gładziejewski.Haydar Oğuz Erdin & Mark H. Bickhard - 2018 - New Ideas in Psychology 1 (49):27-37.
    The interactivist model of representation makes foundational criticisms of assumptions concerning representation that have been standard since the pre-Socratics and presents a positive model that differs from others on offer in several ways. The interactivist model of representation (or re- presenting), consequently, does not fit well within standard categories (though it is closest to the general pragmatist framework), and, consequently, is often miscategorized and misunderstood. A recent paper by Gładziejewski (2016) gives us an opportunity to address some of these issues. (...)
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  31. Reconstructing Aquinas's Process of Abstraction.Liran Shia Gordon - 2018 - Heythrop Journal 59 (4):639-652.
    Aquinas’s process of abstraction of the particular thing into a universal concept is of pivotal importance for grounding his philosophy and theology in a natural framework. Much has been said and written regarding Aquinas’s doctrine of abstraction, yet recent studies still consider it to be ‘nothing more than a kind of magic.’ This problematic claim is not without foundation, for in trying to understand exactly how this process works, we are constantly faced with an unbridgeable abyss and the repeated vague (...)
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  32. Content and misrepresentation in hierarchical generative models.Alex Kiefer & Jakob Hohwy - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2387-2415.
    In this paper, we consider how certain longstanding philosophical questions about mental representation may be answered on the assumption that cognitive and perceptual systems implement hierarchical generative models, such as those discussed within the prediction error minimization framework. We build on existing treatments of representation via structural resemblance, such as those in Gładziejewski :559–582, 2016) and Gładziejewski and Miłkowski, to argue for a representationalist interpretation of the PEM framework. We further motivate the proposed approach to content by arguing that it (...)
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  33. 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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  34. Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    How can we think about things in the outside world? There is still no widely accepted theory of how mental representations get their meaning. In light of pioneering research, Nicholas Shea develops a naturalistic account of the nature of mental representation with a firm focus on the subpersonal representations that pervade the cognitive sciences.
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  35. Content in Simple Signalling Systems.Nicholas Shea, Peter Godfrey-Smith & Rosa Cao - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1009-1035.
    Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models involving interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that are needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts where false content (...)
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  36. The Role of Valence in Intentionality.David Leech Anderson - 2017 - Mind and Matter 15 (1):71-90.
    Functional intentionality is the dominant theory about how mental states come to have the content that they do. Phenomenal intentionality is an increasingly popular alternative to that orthodoxy, claiming that intentionality cannot be functionalized and that nothing is a mental state with intentional content unless it is phenomenally conscious. There is a consensus among defenders of phenomenal intentionality that the kind of phenomenology that is both necessary and sufficient for having a belief that "there is a tree in the quad" (...)
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  37. Cognitive Hunger: Remarks on Imogen Dickie's Fixing Reference.Richard G. Heck - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):738-744.
    The main focus of my comments is the role played in Dickie's view by the idea that "the mind has a need to represent things outside itself". But there are also some remarks about her (very interesting) suggestion that descriptive names can sometimes fail to refer to the object that satisfies the associated description.
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  38. The Mark, the Thing, and the Object: On What Commands Repetition in Freud and Lacan.Gertrudis Van de Vijver, Ariane Bazan & Sandrine Detandt - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8.
    In Logique du Fantasme, Lacan argues that the compulsion to repeat does not obey the same discharge logic as homeostatic processes. Repetition installs a realm that is categorically different from the one related to homeostatic pleasure seeking, a properly subjective one, one in which the mark “stands for,” “takes the place of,” what we have ventured to call “an event,” and what only in the movement of return, in what Lacan calls a “thinking of repetition,” confirms and ever reconfirms this (...)
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  39. Diagrams of the past: How timelines can aid the growth of historical knowledge.Marc Champagne - 2016 - Cognitive Semiotics 9 (1):11-44.
    Historians occasionally use timelines, but many seem to regard such signs merely as ways of visually summarizing results that are presumably better expressed in prose. Challenging this language-centered view, I suggest that timelines might assist the generation of novel historical insights. To show this, I begin by looking at studies confirming the cognitive benefits of diagrams like timelines. I then try to survey the remarkable diversity of timelines by analyzing actual examples. Finally, having conveyed this (mostly untapped) potential, I argue (...)
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  40. Predictive coding and representationalism.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2).
    According to the predictive coding theory of cognition , brains are predictive machines that use perception and action to minimize prediction error, i.e. the discrepancy between bottom–up, externally-generated sensory signals and top–down, internally-generated sensory predictions. Many consider PCT to have an explanatory scope that is unparalleled in contemporary cognitive science and see in it a framework that could potentially provide us with a unified account of cognition. It is also commonly assumed that PCT is a representational theory of sorts, in (...)
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  41. 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 (...)
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  42. Phenomenal Intentionality and the Problem of Representation.Walter Ott - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (1):131--145.
    According to the phenomenal intentionality research program, a state’s intentional content is fixed by its phenomenal character. Defenders of this view have little to say about just how this grounding is accomplished. I argue that without a robust account of representation, the research program promises too little. Unfortunately, most of the well-developed accounts of representation – asymmetric dependence, teleosemantics, and the like – ground representation in external relations such as causation. Such accounts are inconsistent with the core of the phenomenal (...)
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  43. In Defence of Reinhold’s Kantian Representationalism: Aspects of Idealism in Versuch einer neuen Theorie des menschlichen Vorstellungsvermögens.Dennis Schulting - 2016 - Kant Yearbook 8 (1):87-116.
    In this paper, I want to zero in on the Kantian idea that,whilst things in themselves must logically be presupposed as the ground underlying appearances and things are not reducible to their representations, (1) objects as appearances are not properties of things in themselves, and (2) things in themselves or the thing in itself cannot properly be represented or even thought. To do this, I turn to one of the earliest defenders and champions of the Kantian philosophy, Karl Leonhard Reinhold, (...)
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  44. Showing, Sensing, and Seeming: Distinctively Sensory Representations and their Contents. [REVIEW]Margot Strohminger - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (1):101-103.
  45. Expressivism About Reference and Quantification Over the Non-existent Without Meinongian Metaphysics.Stephen Barker - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S2):215-234.
    Can we believe that there are non-existent entities without commitment to the Meinongian metaphysics? This paper argues we can. What leads us from quantification over non-existent beings to Meinongianism is a general metaphysical assumption about reality at large, and not merely quantification over the non-existent. Broadly speaking, the assumption is that every being we talk about must have a real definition. It’s this assumption that drives us to enquire into the nature of beings like Pegasus, and what our relationship as (...)
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  46. Action guidance is not enough, representations need correspondence too: A plea for a two-factor theory of representation.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2015 - New Ideas in Psychology:doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2015..
    The aim of this article is to critically examine what I call Action-Centric Theories of Representation (ACToRs). I include in this category theories of representation that (1) reject construing representation in terms of a relation that holds between representation itself (the representational vehicle) and what is represented, and instead (2) try to bring the function that representations play for cognitive systems to the center stage. Roughly speaking, according to proponents of ACToRs, what makes a representation (that is, what is constitutive (...)
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  47. Representing as Adapting.Benjamin Jarvis - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (1):17-39.
    In this paper, I recommend a creature-level theory of representing. On this theory, a creature represents some entity just in case the creature adapts its behavior to that entity. Adapting is analyzed in terms of establishing new patterns of behavior. The theory of representing as adapting is contrasted with traditional causal and informational theories of mental representation. Moreover, I examine the theory in light of Putnam-Burge style externalism; I show that Putnam-Burge style externalism follows from and is explained by it. (...)
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  48. Port-Royal.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2015 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online.
    Port-Royal-des-Champes was an abbey in France, initially located near Versailles, but later moved to Paris. Its importance to the history of philosophy is due primarily to a group of Augustinian-Cartesian thinkers who developed an influential theory of mental and linguistic representation.
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  49. Character (Alone) Doesn't Count: Phenomenal Character and Narrow Intentional Content.Preston J. Werner - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (3):261-272.
    Proponents of phenomenal intentionality share a commitment that, for at least some paradigmatically intentional states, phenomenal character constitutively determines narrow intentional content. If this is correct, then any two states with the same phenomenal character will have the same narrow intentional content. Using a twin-earth style case, I argue that two different people can be in intrinsically identical phenomenological states without sharing narrow intentional contents. After describing and defending the case, I conclude by considering a few objections that help to (...)
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  50. Propositional Content in Signalling Systems.Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):493-512.
    Skyrms, building on the work of Dretske, has recently developed a novel information-theoretic account of propositional content in simple signalling systems. Information-theoretic accounts of content traditionally struggle to accommodate the possibility of misrepresentation, and I show that Skyrms’s account is no exception. I proceed to argue, however, that a modified version of Skyrms’s account can overcome this problem. On my proposed account, the propositional content of a signal is determined not by the information that it actually carries, but by the (...)
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