Representationalism and Cognition: Topics in the Foundations of Cognitive Science

Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania (1991)
Abstract
In broad terms, the problem is this: What is a metaphysically and scientifically adequate characterization of mental states in general and cognitive states in particular? One such characterization of cognitive states argues that, in light of their essentially intentional nature, they are most satisfactorily modeled in terms of computations on representational states. This is the theory I call Representationalism, and there are strong arguments in its support. For one, since many hold that persons actually have beliefs and desires, and that beliefs and desires are capable of mediating stimuli and behavior, a theory of mind should explain how such psychological states are to be modeled. Representationalism is just such a theory. Second, by ignoring the content of mental states, reductionistic and syntactic theories of mind miss important psychological regularities which are only captured, defenders of Representationalism argue, by theories of mind which advert to the intentional nature of mentality. And third, proponents of Representationalism believe that, because the brain is essentially an information processing organ, computers might actually be capable of emulating cognitive states--which would presumably settle the question of how a physical organism can be said to have mental states. The dissertation proceeds by detailing a Representational theory of mind, offering strong prima facie arguments for it, and then considering arguments found throughout the literature against it. The final chapter provides a detailed discussion of Daniel Dennett's views on the status of genuine believers and original intentionality as well as Stephen Stich's syntactic theory of mind. Both are found to have strong, and in some instances successful, arguments against Representationalism
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,683
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Restrictions on Representationalism.Amy Kind - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 134 (3):405-427.
How to Be an Anti-Representationalist.Anthony Patrick Chemero - 1999 - Dissertation, Indiana University
Representationalism.Frances Egan - 2012 - In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press.
Representationalism and the Determinacy of Visual Content.Ben Bronner - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (2):227-239.
How to Think About Mental Content.Frances Egan - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-21.
Self-Representationalism and the Explanatory Gap.Uriah Kriegel - 2011 - In J. Liu & J. Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. Cambridge University Press.
Theory-Theory and the Direct Perception of Mental States.Jane Suilin Lavelle - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2):213-230.
Thinking Persons and Cognitive Science.Martin Davies - 1990 - AI and Society 4 (1):39-50.

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

Added to index

2015-02-06

Total downloads

0

Recent downloads (6 months)

0

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums