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  1. Using and understanding maps.Stephen Butterfill - unknown
    Many philosophers who advocate broadly pragmatist accounts of belief or language treat maps as paradigm examples of representation and they often assume that a pragmatic account of representation is obviously correct for maps (e.g. Dewey, Dretske, Millikan, Putnam and Ramsey). By examining mapping activities and the representational properties of maps in detail, this paper argues that no single notion of representation can fit every map or every mapping activity. This is bad news for pragmatists: if there are maps they can’t (...)
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  2. Non-propositional intentionality: an introduction.Alex Grzankowski & M. Montague - forthcoming - In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
    Book synopsis: Our mental lives are entwined with the world. There are worldly things that we have beliefs about and things in the world we desire to have happen. We find some things fearsome and others likable. The puzzle of intentionality — how it is that our minds make contact with the world — is one of the oldest and most vexed issues facing philosophers. Many contemporary philosophers and cognitive scientists have been attracted to the idea that our minds represent (...)
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  3. Contours of Vision: Towards a Compositional Semantics of Perception.Kevin J. Lande - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Mental capacities for perceiving, remembering, thinking, and planning involve the processing of structured mental representations. A compositional semantics of such representations would explain how the content of any given representation is determined by the contents of its constituents and their mode of combination. While many have argued that semantic theories of mental representations would have broad value for understanding the mind, there have been few attempts to develop such theories in a systematic and empirically constrained way. This paper contributes to (...)
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  4. The informational profile of valence: The metasemantic argument for imperativism.Manolo Martínez & Luca Barlassina - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Some mental states have valence—they are pleasant or unpleasant. According to imperativism, valence depends on imperative content, while evaluativism tells us that it depends on evaluative content. We argue that if one considers valence’s informational profile, it becomes evident that imperativism is superior to evaluativism. More precisely, we show that if one applies the best available metasemantics to the role played by (un)pleasant mental states in our cognitive economy, then these states turn out to have imperative rather than evaluative content, (...)
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  5. How Imagination Informs.Joshua Myers - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    An influential objection to the epistemic power of the imagination holds that it is uninformative. You cannot get more out of the imagination than you put into it, and therefore learning from the imagination is impossible. This paper argues, against this view, that the imagination is robustly informative. Moreover, it defends a novel account of how the imagination informs, according to which the imagination is informative in virtue of its analog representational format. The core idea is that analog representations represent (...)
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  6. Imaginative Beliefs.Joshua Myers - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue for the existence of imaginative beliefs: mental states that are imaginative in format and doxastic in attitude. I advance two arguments for this thesis. First, there are imaginings that play the functional roles of belief. Second, there are imaginings that play the epistemic roles of belief. These arguments supply both descriptive and normative grounds for positing imaginative beliefs. I also argue that this view fares better than alternatives that posit distinct imaginative and doxastic states to account for the (...)
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  7. Imagination constrained, imagination constructed.Christopher Gauker - 2024 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 67 (1):485-512.
    A number of authors have asked what it takes for a course of mental imagery to be epistemically or practically useful. This paper addresses a prior question, namely, the difference between courses of imagination that are realistic and those that are fantastic. One approach, suggested by recent literature concerning the utility of imagery, holds that a course of imagination represents realistically if and only if the course of events represented conforms to certain accepted constraints. Against this it will be argued (...)
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  8. The Structure of Analog Representation.Andrew Y. Lee, Joshua Myers & Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2023 - Noûs 57 (1):209-237.
    This paper develops a theory of analog representation. We first argue that the mark of the analog is to be found in the nature of a representational system’s interpretation function, rather than in its vehicles or contents alone. We then develop the rulebound structure theory of analog representation, according to which analog systems are those that use interpretive rules to map syntactic structural features onto semantic structural features. The theory involves three degree-theoretic measures that capture three independent ways in which (...)
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  9. Facing Up to the Problem of Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2023 - Philosophical Perspectives 37 (1):228-247.
    We distinguish between different problems of “aboutness”: the “hard” problem of explaining the everyday phenomenon of intentionality and three less challenging “easy” sets of problems concerning the posits of folk psychology, the notions of representation invoked in the mind‐brain sciences, and the intensionality (with an “s”) of mental language. The problem of intentionality is especially hard in that, as is the case with the hard problem of phenomenal consciousness, there is no clear path to a solution using current methods. We (...)
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  10. Correspondence Theory of Semantic Information.Marcin Miłkowski - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (2):485-510.
    A novel account of semantic information is proposed. The gist is that structural correspondence, analysed in terms of similarity, underlies an important kind of semantic information. In contrast to extant accounts of semantic information, it does not rely on correlation, covariation, causation, natural laws, or logical inference. Instead, it relies on structural similarity, defined in terms of correspondence between classifications of tokens into types. This account elucidates many existing uses of the notion of information, for example, in the context of (...)
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  11. Representationalism, Scepticism and Phenomenal Realism.Manas Kumar Sahu - 2022 - Prometeica - Revista De Filosofía Y Ciencias 25:51-65.
    The irreducibility thesis of phenomenal consciousness can only succeed against the sceptical attack and avoid solipsism iff it can coherently establish the transition from subjective certainty to the objectivity of knowledge. The sceptical attack on the relationship between the phenomenal qualitative character of experience about the subjects own mental fact and the awareness of the qualitative properties of the phenomenal object can be avoided through establishing the immediacy of experience. The phenomenal realist become successful in establishing the subjective certainty about (...)
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  12. Cognitive Models Are Distinguished by Content, Not Format.Patrick Butlin - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (1):83-102.
    Cognitive scientists often describe the mind as constructing and using models of aspects of the environment, but it is not obvious what makes something a model as opposed to a mere representation....
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  13. Are Generative Models Structural Representations?Marco Facchin - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (2):277-303.
    Philosophers interested in the theoretical consequences of predictive processing often assume that predictive processing is an inferentialist and representationalist theory of cognition. More specifically, they assume that predictive processing revolves around approximated Bayesian inferences drawn by inverting a generative model. Generative models, in turn, are said to be structural representations: representational vehicles that represent their targets by being structurally similar to them. Here, I challenge this assumption, claiming that, at present, it lacks an adequate justification. I examine the only argument (...)
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  14. Structural representations do not meet the job description challenge.Marco Facchin - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):5479-5508.
    Structural representations are increasingly popular in philosophy of cognitive science. A key virtue they seemingly boast is that of meeting Ramsey's job description challenge. For this reason, structural representations appear tailored to play a clear representational role within cognitive architectures. Here, however, I claim that structural representations do not meet the job description challenge. This is because even our most demanding account of their functional profile is satisfied by at least some receptors, which paradigmatically fail the job description challenge. Hence, (...)
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  15. Belief Fragments and Mental Files.Michael Murez - 2021 - In Andrea Onofri, Cristina Borgoni & Dirk Kindermann (eds.), The Fragmented Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 251-278.
    Belief fragments and mental files are based on the same idea: that information in people’s minds is compartmentalized rather than lumped all together. Philosophers mostly use the two notions differently, though the exact relationship between fragments and files has yet to be examined in detail. This chapter has three main goals. The first is to argue that fragments and files, properly understood, play distinct yet complementary explanatory roles; the second is to defend a model of belief that includes them both; (...)
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  16. The perception/cognition distinction.Sebastian Watzl, Kristoffer Sundberg & Anders Nes - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (2):165-195.
    ABSTRACT The difference between perception and cognition seems introspectively obvious in many cases. Perceiving and thinking have also been assigned quite different roles, in epistemology, in theories of reference and of mental content, in philosophy of psychology, and elsewhere. Yet what is the nature of the distinction? In what way, or ways, do perception and cognition differ? The paper reviews recent work on these questions. Four main respects in which perception and cognition have been held to differ are discussed. First, (...)
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  17. Eliminating the Speed of Light as a ‘Constant’.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
  18. Foucault, Deleuze, and Nietzsche.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  19. Universal Tokenization.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  20. Directive Content.Patrick Butlin - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (1):2-26.
    Representations may have descriptive content, directive content, or both, but little explicit attention has been given to the problem of distinguishing representations of these three kinds. We do not know, for instance, what determines whether a given representation is a directive instructing its consumer to perform some action or has descriptive content to the effect that the action in question has a certain value. This paper considers what it takes for a representation to have directive content. The first part of (...)
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  21. Mental Structures.Kevin J. Lande - 2020 - Noûs (3):649-677.
    An ongoing philosophical discussion concerns how various types of mental states fall within broad representational genera—for example, whether perceptual states are “iconic” or “sentential,” “analog” or “digital,” and so on. Here, I examine the grounds for making much more specific claims about how mental states are structured from constituent parts. For example, the state I am in when I perceive the shape of a mountain ridge may have as constituent parts my representations of the shapes of each peak and saddle (...)
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  22. Another Look at Mode Intentionalism.Jonathan Mitchell - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (6):2519-2546.
    A central claim in contemporary philosophy of mind is that the phenomenal character of experience is entirely determined by its content. This paper considers an alternative called Mode Intentionalism. According to this view, phenomenal character outruns content because the intentional mode contributes to the phenomenal character of the experience. I assess a phenomenal contrast argument in support of this view, arguing that the cases appealed to allow for interpretations which do not require positing intentional modes as phenomenologically manifest aspects of (...)
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  23. On Content Uniformity for Beliefs and Desires.Daniel Skibra - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (2):279-309.
    The view that dominates the literature on intentional attitudes holds that beliefs and desires both have propositional content. A commitment to what I call “content uniformity” underlies this view. According to content uniformity, beliefs and desires are but different psychological modes having a uniform kind of content. Prima facie, the modes don’t place any constraint on the kinds of content the attitude can have. I challenge this consensus by pointing out an asymmetry between belief contents and desire contents which shows (...)
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  24. What Are Mental Representations?Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dołęga & Tobias Schlicht (eds.) - 2020 - New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    Mental representation is one of core theoretical constructs within cognitive science and, together with the introduction of the computer as a model for the mind, is responsible for enabling the ‘cognitive turn’ in psychology and associated fields. Conceiving of cognitive processes, such as perception, motor control, and reasoning, as processes that consist in the manipulation of contentful vehicles representing the world has allowed us to refine our explanations of behavior and has led to tremendous empirical advancements. Despite the central role (...)
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  25. Articulating a Thought.Eli Alshanetsky - 2019 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Eli Alshanetsky considers how we make our thoughts clear to ourselves in the process of putting them into words and examines the paradox of those difficult cases where we do not already know what we are struggling to articulate.
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  26. The Threshold of Representations. Integrating Semiotics and the Cognitive Sciences.Marta Caravà - 2019 - Versus 1:157-174.
    I assess the conditions that philosophers of mind usually use to identify mental representations. I argue in favor of a minimal definition of mental representation, which is similar to definitions endorsed by some philosophers of embodied cognition. I claim that, even if we endorse this minimal definition of mental representation, important aspects of perception cannot be explained in representational terms. Therefore I suggest endorsing a non-representational approach to perception made of a combination of the enactive approach and ecological psychology and (...)
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  27. Immediate and Reflective Senses.Angela Mendelovici - 2019 - In Dena Shottenkirk, Manuel Curado & Steven Gouveia (eds.), Perception, Cognition, and Aesthetics. New York: Routledge. pp. 187-209.
    This paper argues that there are two distinct kinds of senses, immediate senses and reflective senses. Immediate senses are what we are immediately aware of when we are in an intentional mental state, while reflective senses are what we understand of an intentional mental state's (putative) referent upon reflection. I suggest an account of immediate and reflective senses that is based on the phenomenal intentionality theory, a theory of intentionality in terms of phenomenal consciousness. My focus is on the immediate (...)
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  28. Pictures, Plants, and Propositions.Alex Morgan - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (2):309-329.
    Philosophers have traditionally held that propositions mark the domain of rational thought and inference. Many philosophers have held that only conceptually sophisticated creatures like us could have propositional attitudes. But in recent decades, philosophers have adopted increasingly liberal views of propositional attitudes that encompass the mental states of various non-human animals. These views now sit alongside more traditional views within the philosophical mainstream. In this paper I argue that liberalized views of propositional attitudes are so liberal that they encompass states (...)
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  29. Is Iconic Memory Iconic?Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):660-682.
    Short‐term memory in vision is typically thought to divide into at least two memory stores: a short, fragile, high‐capacity store known as iconic memory, and a longer, durable, capacity‐limited store known as visual working memory (VWM). This paper argues that iconic memory stores icons, i.e., image‐like perceptual representations. The iconicity of iconic memory has significant consequences for understanding consciousness, nonconceptual content, and the perception–cognition border. Steven Gross and Jonathan Flombaum have recently challenged the division between iconic memory and VWM by (...)
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  30. Perceptual Pluralism.Jake Quilty-Dunn - 2019 - Noûs 54 (4):807-838.
    Perceptual systems respond to proximal stimuli by forming mental representations of distal stimuli. A central goal for the philosophy of perception is to characterize the representations delivered by perceptual systems. It may be that all perceptual representations are in some way proprietarily perceptual and differ from the representational format of thought (Dretske 1981; Carey 2009; Burge 2010; Block ms.). Or it may instead be that perception and cognition always trade in the same code (Prinz 2002; Pylyshyn 2003). This paper rejects (...)
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  31. The fragmentary model of temporal experience and the mirroring constraint.Gerardo Alberto Viera - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):21-44.
    A central debate in the current philosophical literature on temporal experience is over the following question: do temporal experiences themselves have a temporal structure that mirrors their temporal contents? Extensionalists argue that experiences do have a temporal structure that mirrors their temporal contents. Atomists insist that experiences don’t have a temporal structure that mirrors their contents. In this paper, I argue that this debate is misguided. Both atomism and extensionalism, considered as general theories of temporal experience, are false, since temporal (...)
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  32. A relational theory of non-propositional attitudes.Alex Grzankowski - 2018 - In Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.), Non-Propositional Intentionality. Oxford University Press.
    Book synopsis: Our mental lives are entwined with the world. There are worldly things that we have beliefs about and things in the world we desire to have happen. We find some things fearsome and others likable. The puzzle of intentionality — how it is that our minds make contact with the world — is one of the oldest and most vexed issues facing philosophers. Many contemporary philosophers and cognitive scientists have been attracted to the idea that our minds represent (...)
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  33. Non-Propositional Intentionality.Alex Grzankowski & Michelle Montague (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
    This book explores how our minds represent things in the world, asking whether these representations necessarily have the structure of propositions about the world. The hope is that this will lead towards a more complete understanding of the puzzle of intentionality -- how it is that our minds make contact with the world.
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  34. Are the Senses Silent? Travis’s Argument from Looks.Keith A. Wilson - 2018 - In John Collins & Tamara Dobler (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 199-221.
    Many philosophers and scientists take perceptual experience, whatever else it involves, to be representational. In ‘The Silence of the Senses’, Charles Travis argues that this view involves a kind of category mistake, and consequently, that perceptual experience is not a representational or intentional phenomenon. The details of Travis’s argument, however, have been widely misinterpreted by his representationalist opponents, many of whom dismiss it out of hand. This chapter offers an interpretation of Travis’s argument from looks that it is argued presents (...)
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  35. Non-Relational Intentionality.Justin D'Ambrosio - 2017 - Dissertation, Yale University
    This dissertation lays the foundation for a new theory of non-relational intentionality. The thesis is divided into an introduction and three main chapters, each of which serves as an essential part of an overarching argument. The argument yields, as its conclusion, a new account of how language and thought can exhibit intentionality intrinsically, so that representation can occur in the absence of some thing that is represented. The overarching argument has two components: first, that intentionality can be profi tably studied (...)
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  36. A Theory of Practical Meaning.Carlotta Pavese - 2017 - Philosophical Topics 45 (2):65-96.
    This essay is divided into two parts. In the first part (§2), I introduce the idea of practical meaning by looking at a certain kind of procedural systems — the motor system — that play a central role in computational explanations of motor behavior. I argue that in order to give a satisfactory account of the content of the representations computed by motor systems (motor commands), we need to appeal to a distinctively practical kind of meaning. Defending the explanatory relevance (...)
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  37. Giving a Damn: Essays in Dialogue with John Haugeland.Zed Adams & Jacob Browning (eds.) - 2016 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Pres.
    In his work, the philosopher John Haugeland (1945–2010) proposed a radical expansion of philosophy's conceptual toolkit, calling for a wider range of resources for understanding the mind, the world, and how they relate. Haugeland argued that “giving a damn” is essential for having a mind—suggesting that traditional approaches to cognitive science mistakenly overlook the relevance of caring to the understanding of mindedness. Haugeland's determination to expand philosophy's array of concepts led him to write on a wide variety of subjects that (...)
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  38. Perceptual Appearances of Personality.Berit Brogaard - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):83-103.
    Perceptual appearances of personality can be highly inaccurate, for example, when they rely on race, masculinity, and attractiveness, factors that have little to do with personality, as well as when they are the result of perceiver effects, such as an idiosyncratic tendency to view others negatively. This raises the question of whether these types of appearances can provide immediate justification for our judgments about personality. I argue that there are three reasons that we should think that they can. The inaccuracy (...)
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  39. The Situational Structure of Primate Beliefs.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Perspectives: International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):50-57.
    This paper develops the situational model of primate beliefs from the Prior-Lurz line of thought. There is a strong skepticism concerning primate beliefs in the analytic tradition which holds that beliefs have to be propositional and non-human animals do not have them. The response offered in this paper is twofold. First, two arguments against the propositional model as applied to other animals are put forward: an a priori argument from referential opacity and an empirical argument from varieties of working memory. (...)
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  40. Perception and the Origins of Temporal Representation.Steven Gross - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):275-292.
    Is temporal representation constitutively necessary for perception? Tyler Burge (2010) argues that it is, in part because perception requires a form of memory sufficiently sophisticated as to require temporal representation. I critically discuss Burge’s argument, maintaining that it does not succeed. I conclude by reflecting on the consequences for the origins of temporal representation.
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  41. The Mereology of Representation.Jessica Leech - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (2):205-228.
    Mental representations—like many other things—seem to have parts. However, it isn’t clear how to properly understand the idea of a part of a representation. In this paper I shed new light on how representations can have a mereology. In particular, it has been recognized that there is a mereological element to Kant’s distinction between two kinds of representations: intuitions and concepts. A concept depends upon its parts, whereas an intuition is prior to its parts. The paper thus focuses on an (...)
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  42. Showing, Sensing, and Seeming: Distinctively Sensory Representations and their Contents. [REVIEW]Margot Strohminger - 2016 - British Journal of Aesthetics 56 (1):101-103.
  43. Internalism and the explanatory role of narrow content.Sam Baird - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    The central problem addressed by this thesis is how narrow content can be genuinely representational and relate to the individuation of mental representations. A second problem relates to the explanatory role of narrow content. The challenge facing the proponent of narrow content is that externalism is the standard position with regard to representation, individuation, and explanation, and it is often held that narrow content is either incoherent or explanatorily redundant. To this end, I defend a version of a two-component theory (...)
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  44. Maps and Absent Symbols.Ben Bronner - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):43-59.
    ABSENCE is the claim that, if a symbol appears on a map, then absence of the symbol from some map coordinate signifies absence of the corresponding property from the corresponding location. This claim is highly intuitive and widely endorsed. And if it is true, then cartographic representation is strikingly different from linguistic representation. I argue, however, that ABSENCE is false of various maps and that we have no reason to believe it is true of any maps. The intuition to the (...)
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  45. Being Clear on Content - Commentary on Hutto and Satne.Dimitri Coelho Mollo - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):687-699.
    In the target article Hutto and Satne propose a new approach to studying mental content. Although I believe there is much to commend in their proposal, I argue that it makes no space for a kind of content that is of central importance to cognitive science, and which need not be involved in beliefs and desires: I will use the expression ‘representational content’ to refer to it. Neglecting representational content leads to an undue limitation of the contribution that the neo-Cartesian (...)
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  46. Perceptual Representation / Perceptual Content.Bence Nanay - 2015 - In Mohan Matthen (ed.), Oxford Handbook for the Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press. pp. 153-167.
    A straightforward way of thinking about perception is in terms of perceptual representation. Perception is the construction of perceptual representations that represent the world correctly or incorrectly. This way of thinking about perception has been questioned recently by those who deny that there are perceptual representations. This article examines some reasons for and against the concept of perceptual representation and explores some potential ways of resolving this debate. Then it analyzes what perceptual representations may be: if they attribute properties to (...)
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  47. Practical Senses.Carlotta Pavese - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
    In their theories of know how, proponents of Intellectualism routinely appeal to ‘practical modes of presentation’. But what are practical modes of presentation? And what makes them distinctively practical? In this essay, I develop a Fregean account of practical modes of presentation: I argue that there are such things as practical senses and I give a theory of what they are. One of the challenges facing the proponent of a distinctively Fregean construal of practical modes of presentation is to provide (...)
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  48. Semantic properties of diagrams and their cognitive potentials.Atsushi Shimojima - 2015 - Stanford, California: CSLI Publications.
    Why are diagrams sometimes so useful, while other times unhelpful and even misguiding? There are systematic reasons for this. Drawing on modern research in logic, Artificial Intelligence, cognitive psychology, and graphic design, "Semantic Properties of Diagrams and their Cognitive Potentials" shows that diagrams' cognitive functions are rooted in the characteristic ways they carry information about their targets. The analysis leads to an answer for the deeper question of What makes a diagram a diagram?, which is of crucial importance to the (...)
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  49. Iconic semiosis and representational efficiency in the London Underground Diagram.Pedro Atã, Breno Bitarello & Joao Queiroz - 2014 - Cognitive Semiotics 7:177-190.
    The icon is the type of sign connected to efficient representational features, and its manipulation reveals more information about its object. The London Underground Diagram (LUD) is an iconic artifact and a well-known example of representational efficiency, having been copied by urban transportation systems worldwide. This paper investigates the efficiency of the LUD in the light of different conceptions of iconicity. We stress that a specialized representation is an icon of the formal structure of the problem for which it has (...)
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  50. On Peirce's diagrammatic models for ten classes of signs.Priscila Lena Farias & João Queiroz - 2014 - Semiotica 2014 (202).
    The classifications of signs are among the most important topics of Peirce's theory of signs. The 10 classes of signs were developed from 1903 and represent an important refinement of the fundamental division of signs into icons, indexes, and symbols. In this paper we present two diagrammatic models for 10 classes, proposed by Peirce, and an interpretation of the reasoning behind their development, based on the analysis of preparatory versions of these models.
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