Teleosemantics without etiology

Philosophy of Science 81 (5):798-810 (2014)
Authors
Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The aim of teleosemantics is to give a scientifically respectable, or ‘naturalistic’ theory of mental content. In the debates surrounding the scope and merits of teleosemantics a lot has been said about the concept of indication (or carrying information). The aim of this paper is to focus on the other key concept of teleosemantics: biological function. It has been universally accepted in the teleosemantics literature that the account of biological function one should use to flesh out teleosemantics is that of etiological function. My claim is that if we replace this concept of function with an alternative one (that we have independent reasons to accept) and if we also restrict the scope of teleosemantics, we can arrive at an account of biologizing mental content that is much less problematic than the previous attempts.
Keywords Teleosemantics  Naturalistic theories of mental content  Function
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1086/677684
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References found in this work BETA

Intentionality.John Searle - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Functional Analysis.Robert C. Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

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Citations of this work BETA

Teleosemantics, Infotel-Semantics and Circularity.Marc Artiga - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):583-603.
Naturalizing the Content of Desire.Schulte Peter - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-14.

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