Epistemological missing links

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (1):70-71 (1997)
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Abstract

Clark & Thornton's “superficially distinct ploys and mechanisms” are in fact very different: there is a deep difference between (a) filters and feature detectors, which “let the information in,” and (b) contentful representations and theories, which reconfigure it into a computationally tractable form. (a) is bringing abilities to experience whereas (b) is bringing content to experience. Both have well known problems. I outline an evolutionary story that avoids these problems and begins to explain how representations and theories developed out of feature detectors and filters.

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