What Is an Object File?

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):665-699 (2021)
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Abstract

The notion of an object file figures prominently in recent work in philosophy and cognitive science. Object files play a role in theories of singular reference, object individuation, perceptual memory, and the development of cognitive capacities. However, the philosophical literature lacks a detailed, empirically informed theory of object files. In this paper, we articulate and defend the multiple-slots view, which specifies both the format and architecture of object files. We argue that object files represent in a non-iconic, propositional format that incorporates discrete symbols for separate features. Moreover, we argue that features of separate categories are stored in separate memory slots within an object file. We supplement this view with a computational framework that characterizes how information about objects is stored and retrieved.

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Author Profiles

Jake Quilty-Dunn
Washington University in St. Louis
E. J. Green
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

Perceptual Pluralism.Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2020 - Noûs 54 (4):807-838.
Inferential Transitions.Jake Quilty-Dunn & Eric Mandelbaum - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):532-547.
Is Iconic Memory Iconic?Jake Quilty‐Dunn - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):660-682.

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Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.

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