A Dilemma or a Challenge? Assessing the All-star Team in a Wider Context

Philosophia 43 (3):669-685 (2015)
Nikolai Alksnis
La Trobe University
In their update to Intentionality All-Stars, Hutto and Satne claim that there is currently no satisfactory account for a naturalised conception of content. From this the pair suggest that we need to consider whether content is present in all aspects of intelligence, that is, whether it is content all the way down. Yet if we do not have an acceptable theory of content such a question seems out of place. It seems more appropriate to question whether content itself is the problematic assumption. This paper will explore this question, with the analysis hinging on whether those trying to naturalise content are facing a tough challenge as Haugeland has suggested, or whether it is a genuine dilemma as Hutto has suggested elsewhere. If those attempting to naturalise content are facing a genuine dilemma, a dilemma in which the non-existence of content is one of the horns, then it would seem that the issue is not at what stage you posit content, but whether you should posit content at all. This also has the added benefit of shifting the debate to a more global discussion, that is, the best way to explain intelligence, period
Keywords Mental representation  Behaviourism  Enactivism  Eliminativism
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-015-9618-2
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature.R. Rorty - 1979 - Princeton University Press.
Brainstorms.Daniel C. Dennett - 1978 - MIT Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.

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Representational Content in Humans and Machines.Mark H. Bickhard - 1993 - Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 5:285-33.
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