The Decoupled Representation Theory of the Evolution of Cognition--A Critical Assessment

Abstract
Sterelny’s Thought in a Hostile World ([ 2003 ]) presents a complex, systematically structured theory of the evolution of cognition centered on a concept of decoupled representation. Taking Godfrey-Smith’s ([ 1996 ]) analysis of the evolution of behavioral flexibility as a framework, the theory describes increasingly complex grades of representation beginning with simple detection and culminating with decoupled representation, said to be belief-like, and it characterizes selection forces that drive evolutionary transformations in these forms of representation. Sterelny’s ultimate explanatory target is the evolution of human agency. This paper develops a detailed analysis of the main cognitive aspects. It is argued that some of the major claims are not correct: decoupled representation as defined doesn’t capture belief-like representation, and, properly understood, decoupled representation turns out to be ubiquitous among multicellular animals. However, some of the key ideas are right, or along the right lines, and suggestions are made for modifying and expanding the conceptual framework
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axp043
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 on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 25,046
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Biosemantics.Ruth G. Millikan - 2009 - In Brian P. McLaughlin & Ansgar Beckerman (eds.), Journal of Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 281--297.
Intelligence Without Representation.Rodney Brooks - 1991 - Artificial Intelligence 47:139-159.
Biosemantics.Ruth G. Millikan - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (July):281-97.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Role of Social Interaction in the Evolution of Learning.R. Smead - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (1):161-180.
The Natural History of Desire.David Spurrett - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):304-313.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-08-16

Total downloads

69 ( #71,656 of 2,126,920 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #242,670 of 2,126,920 )

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