Comment on Artiga’s “Teleosemantics and Pushmi-Pullyu Representations”

Erkenntnis 88 (1):1-9 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


“Teleosemantics and Pushmi-Pullyu Representations” (call it “TP-PR,” this journal 2014 79.3, 545–566) argues that core teleosemantics, particularly as defined in Millikan (Language, thought and other biological categories, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1984, J Philos 86(6):281–297, 1989, White queen psychology and other essays for Alice, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1993, Philosophical perspectives, Ridgeview Publishing, Alascadero, 1996, Varieties of meaning, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2004–2008), seems to imply that all descriptive representations are at the same time directive and that directives are at the same time descriptive, hence that all representations are pushmi-pullyu representations. A pushmi-pullyu representation is at once indicative and imperative, telling both what the case is and what to do about it. The usefulness at all of the notion of a pushmi-pullyu representation is then questioned. I have recently found several new papers, dissertations, discussions, in which TP-PR is treated as definitive. However, the conclusions of TP-PR rest on misunderstandings of my position, so although the date is late, clarification seems still to be in order. I will indicate a few significant corrections that need to be made to TP-PR’s description of my position (originally called “biosemantics”) and explain central features of biosemantics that are omitted in TP-PR’s description of basic teleosemantics and which are incompatible with the main argument and conclusions of TP-PR. I will try to clarify and explain the value of the notion of a pushmi-pullyu representation.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,439

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

Millikan on Honeybee Navigation and Communication.Michael Rescorla - 2013 - In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and her critics. Malden, MA: Wiley. pp. 87–106.
Pushmi-pullyu representations.Ruth G. Millikan - 1987 - In James E. Tomberlin (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives. Atascadero, Calif.: Ridgeview Publishing. pp. 185-200.
Pushmi-pullyu representations.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1995 - Philosophical Perspectives 9:185-200.
Agentive experiences as pushmi-pullyu representations.Timothy Bayne - 2011 - In Jesús H. Aguilar, Andrei A. Buckareff & Keith Frankish (eds.), New waves in philosophy of action. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 219--36.
The explanatory breadth of pushmi-pullyu representations.Mark Bauer - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (3):1-23.
Valent Representation: Problems and Prospects.Anthony Hatzimoysis - 2024 - Journal of Philosophy of Emotion 5 (2):17-23.


Added to PP

88 (#191,078)

6 months
24 (#148,008)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?