New Ideas in Psychology 40 (94-102) (2016)

Authors
Marcin Miłkowski
Polish Academy of Sciences
Abstract
In this paper, I focus on a problem related to teleological theories of content namely, which notion of function makes content causally relevant? It has been claimed that some functional accounts of content make it causally irrelevant, or epiphenomenal; in which case, such notions of function could no longer act as the pillar of naturalized semantics. By looking closer at biological questions about behavior, I argue that past discussion has been oriented towards an ill-posed question. What I defend is a Very Boring Hypothesis: depending on the representational phenomenon and the explanatory question, different aspects might be important, and it is difficult to say a priori which ones these might be. There are multiple facets to biological functionality and causality relevant for explaining representational phenomena, and ignoring them will lead to unmotivated simplifications. In addition, accounting for different facets of functionality helps dispense with intuition-based specifications of cognitive phenomena.
Keywords function  representation  causal relevance
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The Hard Problem Of Content: Solved (Long Ago).Marcin Miłkowski - 2015 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 41 (1):73-88.

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