Representation and unexploited content
In Graham F. Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics. Oxford University Press (2006)
In this paper, we introduce a novel difficulty for teleosemantics, viz., its inability to account for what we call unexploited content—content a representation has, but which the system that harbors it is currently unable to exploit. In section two, we give a characterization of teleosemantics. Since our critique does not depend on any special details that distinguish the variations in the literature, the characterization is broad, brief and abstract. In section three, we explain what we mean by unexploited content, and argue that any theory of content adequate to ground representationalist theories in cognitive science must allow for it.1 In section four, we show that teleosemantic theories of the sort we identify in section two cannot accommodate unexploited content, and are therefore unacceptable if intended as attempts to ground representationalist cognitive science. Finally, in section five, we speculate that the existence and importance of unexploited content has likely been obscured by a failure to distinguish representation from indication, and by a tendency to think of representation as reference.
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Citations of this work BETA
Perceptual Representations: A Teleosemantic Answer to the Breadth-of-Application Problem.Peter Schulte - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):119-136.
Objective Similarity and Mental Representation.Alistair M. C. Isaac - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):683-704.
Teleosemantics Re-Examined: Content, Explanation and Norms.Carolyn Price - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):587-596.
Rat Pups and Random Robots Generate Similar Self-Organized and Intentional Behavior.Christopher J. May, Jeffrey C. Schank, Sanjay Joshi, Jonathan Tran, R. J. Taylor & I.-Esha Scott - 2006 - Complexity 12 (1):53-66.
The Apparent Intentionality of Living Beings and the Game of Content.Katerina Abramova & Mario Villalobos - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):651-668.
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