Explaining how to perceive the new: causal-informational teleosemantics and productive response functions

Synthese 198 (6):5335-5350 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


According to Karen Neander’s causal-informational teleosemantics, the contents of perceptual states depend on the etiological response functions of sensory-perceptual systems. In this paper, I argue that this theory is, despite its virtues, unable to explain how humans and other animals are capable of perceiving properties with which no sensory-perceptual system has ever been confronted. After rejecting Neander’s own proposal in terms of second-order similarity and a proposal inspired by Ruth Millikan in terms of simplicity, I offer a solution which equates functions with manifestations of dispositions that made a difference to evolutionary success. My suggestion is able to generate determinate and plausible contents for new perceptual states while still preserving the idea that etiological functions explain evolutionary success.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 79,898

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Review of A Mark of the Mental. [REVIEW]Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2019 - Philosophical Review 128 (3):378-385.
Teleosemantics without etiology.Bence Nanay - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):798-810.
Meaning and Normativity: A Study of Teleosemantics.Sang Kyu Shin - 2003 - Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin
Teleosemantics, Swampman, and Strong Representationalism.Uwe Peters - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):273–288.
Teleosemantics and productivity.Manolo Martinez - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):47-68.
Toward an Informational Teleosemantics.Karen Neander - 2013 - In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and Her Critics. Wiley. pp. 21--40.
Naturalized perception without information.John Dilworth - 2004 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 25 (4):349-368.
Teleosemantics: New Philo-sophical Essays.Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.) - 2006 - New York: Oxford: Clarendon Press.


Added to PP

58 (#215,099)

6 months
8 (#117,963)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Fabian Hundertmark
Bielefeld University

Citations of this work

Teleological theories of mental content.Peter Schulte & Karen Neander - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Response to Neander's Critics.Justin Garson - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):490-503.
Précis of Karen Neander's A Mark of the Mental.Justin Garson - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):461-467.

Add more citations