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Notes toward a structuralist theory of mental representation

In Hugh Clapin, Phillip Staines & Peter Slezak (eds.), Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation. Elsevier. pp. 1--20 (2004)

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  1. The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Seman- Tico-Cognitive Analysis.Sergey L. Katrechko - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55.
  • Neural Representations Beyond “Plus X”.Alessio Plebe & Vivian M. De La Cruz - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):93-117.
    In this paper we defend structural representations, more specifically neural structural representation. We are not alone in this, many are currently engaged in this endeavor. The direction we take, however, diverges from the main road, a road paved by the mathematical theory of measure that, in the 1970s, established homomorphism as the way to map empirical domains of things in the world to the codomain of numbers. By adopting the mind as codomain, this mapping became a boon for all those (...)
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  • Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    How can we think about things in the outside world? There is still no widely accepted theory of how mental representations get their meaning. In light of pioneering research, Nicholas Shea develops a naturalistic account of the nature of mental representation with a firm focus on the subpersonal representations that pervade the cognitive sciences.
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  • From representations in predictive processing to degrees of representational features.Danaja Rutar, Wanja Wiese & Johan Kwisthout - forthcoming - Minds and Machines:1-24.
    Whilst the topic of representations is one of the key topics in philosophy of mind, it has only occasionally been noted that representations and representational features may be gradual. Apart from vague allusions, little has been said on what representational gradation amounts to and why it could be explanatorily useful. The aim of this paper is to provide a novel take on gradation of representational features within the neuroscientific framework of predictive processing. More specifically, we provide a gradual account of (...)
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  • Refining the Bayesian Approach to Unifying Generalisation.Nina Poth - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-31.
    Tenenbaum and Griffiths (2001) have proposed that their Bayesian model of generalisation unifies Shepard’s (1987) and Tversky’s (1977) similarity-based explanations of two distinct patterns of generalisation behaviours by reconciling them under a single coherent task analysis. I argue that this proposal needs refinement: instead of unifying the heterogeneous notion of psychological similarity, the Bayesian approach unifies generalisation by rendering the distinct patterns of behaviours informationally relevant. I suggest that generalisation as a Bayesian inference should be seen as a complement to, (...)
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  • Russellian Representationalism and the Stygian Hues.William A. Sharp - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Representationalism is today the leading physicalist theory of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. And Russellian representationalism, which identifies contents with extensions, is the leading iteration of that theory. If there exist phenomenally distinct experiences as of the impossible, then these would prima facie serve as counterexamples to the theory. In order that they definitively serve as counterexamples, it needs to be that there is no plausible account of the experiences on which they decompose into constituent elements each of which (...)
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  • In Defence of a Structural Account of Indirect Realism.Michael Sollberger - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):815-837.
    Current orthodoxy in the philosophy of perception views indirect realism as misguided, wrongheaded or simply outdated. The reasons for its pariah status are variegated. Although it is surely not unreasonable to speculate that philosophical fashion is one factor that contributes to this situation, there are also solid philosophical arguments which put pressure on the indirect realist position. In this paper, I will discuss one such main objection and show how the indirect realist can face it. The upshot will be a (...)
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  • Mechanisms of Madness: Evolutionary Psychiatry Without Evolutionary Psychology.Philip Gerrans - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):35-56.
    Delusions are currently characterised as false beliefs produced by incorrect inference about external reality (DSM IV). This inferential conception has proved hard to link to explanations pitched at the level of neurobiology and neuroanatomy. This paper provides that link via a neurocomputational theory, based on evolutionary considerations, of the role of the prefrontal cortex in regulating offline cognition. When pathologically neuromodulated the prefrontal cortex produces hypersalient experiences which monopolise offline cognition. The result is characteristic psychotic experiences and patterns of thought. (...)
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  • Exploitable Isomorphism and Structural Representation.Nicholas Shea - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (2pt2):123-144.
    An interesting feature of some sets of representations is that their structure mirrors the structure of the items they represent. Founding an account of representational content on isomorphism, homomorphism or structural resemblance has proven elusive, however, largely because these relations are too liberal when the candidate structure over representational vehicles is unconstrained. Furthermore, in many cases where there is a clear isomorphism, it is not relied on in the way the representations are used. That points to a potential resolution: that (...)
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  • Structural Representation and the Two Problems of Content.Jonny Lee - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (5):606-626.
    Mind &Language, Volume 34, Issue 5, Page 606-626, November 2019.
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  • Kinetic Memories. An Embodied Form of Remembering the Personal Past.Marina Trakas - 2021 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 42 (2):139-174.
    Despite the popularity that the embodied cognition thesis has gained in recent years, explicit memories of events personally experienced are still conceived as disembodied mental representations. It seems that we can consciously remember our personal past through sensory imagery, through concepts, propositions and language, but not through the body. In this article, I defend the idea that the body constitutes a genuine means of representing past personal experiences. For this purpose, I focus on the analysis of bodily movements associated with (...)
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  • Structures in Physics and Neuroscience: Structural Realism and the Unity of Science.Majid Davoody Beni & Georg Northoff - 2020 - Axiomathes 31 (4):479-495.
    We offer to extend structural realism into the field of mind and brain studies. The naturalised metaphysics of structural realism has been defined in terms of unification of sciences. The unification program has been carried out nicely in fields of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. But for the structural realist metaphysics to receive a recommendation, the unification program needs to be extended to the fields of especial sciences. Our aim in the paper is twofold. On the one hand, we present (...)
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  • Similarity-Based Cognition: Radical Enactivism Meets Cognitive Neuroscience.Miguel Segundo-Ortin & Daniel D. Hutto - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):1-19.
    Similarity-based cognition is commonplace. It occurs whenever an agent or system exploits the similarities that hold between two or more items—e.g., events, processes, objects, and so on—in order to perform some cognitive task. This kind of cognition is of special interest to cognitive neuroscientists. This paper explicates how similarity-based cognition can be understood through the lens of radical enactivism and why doing so has advantages over its representationalist rival, which posits the existence of structural representations or S-representations. Specifically, it is (...)
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  • Computation and Representation in Cognitive Neuroscience.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):1-6.
  • Neural Representations Observed.Eric Thomson & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):191-235.
    The historical debate on representation in cognitive science and neuroscience construes representations as theoretical posits and discusses the degree to which we have reason to posit them. We reject the premise of that debate. We argue that experimental neuroscientists routinely observe and manipulate neural representations in their laboratory. Therefore, neural representations are as real as neurons, action potentials, or any other well-established entities in our ontology.
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  • From Symbols to Icons: The Return of Resemblance in the Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Daniel Williams & Lincoln Colling - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):1941-1967.
    We argue that one important aspect of the “cognitive neuroscience revolution” identified by Boone and Piccinini :1509–1534. doi: 10.1007/s11229-015-0783-4, 2015) is a dramatic shift away from thinking of cognitive representations as arbitrary symbols towards thinking of them as icons that replicate structural characteristics of their targets. We argue that this shift has been driven both “from below” and “from above”—that is, from a greater appreciation of what mechanistic explanation of information-processing systems involves, and from a greater appreciation of the problems (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and the Representation Wars.Daniel Williams - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):141-172.
    Clark has recently suggested that predictive processing advances a theory of neural function with the resources to put an ecumenical end to the “representation wars” of recent cognitive science. In this paper I defend and develop this suggestion. First, I broaden the representation wars to include three foundational challenges to representational cognitive science. Second, I articulate three features of predictive processing’s account of internal representation that distinguish it from more orthodox representationalist frameworks. Specifically, I argue that it posits a resemblance-based (...)
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  • Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Intentionality.Alex Morgan & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):119-139.
    We situate the debate on intentionality within the rise of cognitive neuroscience and argue that cognitive neuroscience can explain intentionality. We discuss the explanatory significance of ascribing intentionality to representations. At first, we focus on views that attempt to render such ascriptions naturalistic by construing them in a deflationary or merely pragmatic way. We then contrast these views with staunchly realist views that attempt to naturalize intentionality by developing theories of content for representations in terms of information and biological function. (...)
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  • REC: Revolution Effected by Clarification.Daniel D. Hutto - 2017 - Topoi 36 (3):377-391.
    This paper shows how a radical approach to enactivism provides a way of clarifying and unifying different varieties of enactivism and enactivist-friendly approaches so as to provide a genuine alternative to classical cognitivism. Section 1 reminds readers of the broad church character of the enactivism framework. Section 2 explicates how radical enactivism is best understood not as a kind of enactivism per se but as a programme for radicalizing and consolidating the many different enactivist offerings. The main work of radical (...)
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  • Mirroring Versus Simulation: On the Representational Function of Simulation.Mitchell Herschbach - 2012 - Synthese 189 (3):483-513.
    Mirror neurons and systems are often appealed to as mechanisms enabling mindreading, i.e., understanding other people’s mental states. Such neural mirroring processes are often treated as instances of mental simulation rather than folk psychological theorizing. I will call into question this assumed connection between mirroring and simulation, arguing that mirroring does not necessarily constitute mental simulation as specified by the simulation theory of mindreading. I begin by more precisely characterizing “mirroring” (Sect. 2) and “simulation” (Sect. 3). Mirroring results in a (...)
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  • Predication and Cartographic Representation.Michael Rescorla - 2009 - Synthese 169 (1):175 - 200.
    I argue that maps do not feature predication, as analyzed by Frege and Tarski. I take as my foil (Casati and Varzi, Parts and places, 1999), which attributes predication to maps. I argue that the details of Casati and Varzi’s own semantics militate against this attribution. Casati and Varzi emphasize what I call the Absence Intuition: if a marker representing some property (such as mountainous terrain) appears on a map, then absence of that marker from a map coordinate signifies absence (...)
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  • A New Objection to Representationalist Direct Realism.Paul H. Griffiths - manuscript
    Representationalism (aka intentionalism) has been the most significant weapon in the late twentieth century defence of direct realism. However, although the representationalist objection to the Phenomenal Principle might provide an effective response to the arguments from illusion and hallucination, plausible representationalist theories of perception are, when fleshed-out, incompatible with metaphysical direct realism’s directness-claim. Indeed within cognitive science, direct perception is the avowedly-radical anti-representationalist heterodoxy. Drawing on both the philosophy and cognitive science, we develop a robust argument against representationalist direct realism (...)
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  • Bodily Structure and Body Representation.Adrian J. T. Alsmith - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2193-2222.
    This paper is concerned with representational explanations of how one experiences and acts with one’s body as an integrated whole. On the standard view, accounts of bodily experience and action must posit a corresponding representational structure: a representation of the body as an integrated whole. The aim of this paper is to show why we should instead favour the minimal view: given the nature of the body, and representation of its parts, accounts of the structure of bodily experience and action (...)
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  • Prospects of Enactivist Approaches to Intentionality and Cognition.Tobias Schlicht & Tobias Starzak - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):89-113.
    We discuss various implications of some radical anti-representationalist views of cognition and what they have to offer with regard to the naturalization of intentionality and the explanation of cognitive phenomena. Our focus is on recent arguments from proponents of enactive views of cognition to the effect that basic cognition is intentional but not representational and that cognition is co-extensive with life. We focus on lower rather than higher forms of cognition, namely the question regarding the intentional and representational nature of (...)
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  • Similarity-Based Cognition: Radical Enactivism Meets Cognitive Neuroscience.Miguel Segundo-Ortin & Daniel D. Hutto - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):5-23.
    Similarity-based cognition is commonplace. It occurs whenever an agent or system exploits the similarities that hold between two or more items—e.g., events, processes, objects, and so on—in order to perform some cognitive task. This kind of cognition is of special interest to cognitive neuroscientists. This paper explicates how similarity-based cognition can be understood through the lens of radical enactivism and why doing so has advantages over its representationalist rival, which posits the existence of structural representations or S-representations. Specifically, it is (...)
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  • Does Resemblance Really Matter?Anne-Kathrin Koch - 2015 - Open MIND.
    In this commentary on Gerard O’Brien’s “How does mind matter? —Solving the content causation problem”, I will investigate the notion of representational content presented in the latter. With this notion, O’Brien aims at giving an explanation of how mind matters in physicalist terms. His argumentation is motivated by, and supposedly directed towards, a problem he calls the content causation problem. Regarding this, I am most interested in reconstructing how his account relates to the presuppositions that make this problem so pressing (...)
     
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  • The Unbearable Shallow Understanding of Deep Learning.Alessio Plebe & Giorgio Grasso - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (4):515-553.
    This paper analyzes the rapid and unexpected rise of deep learning within Artificial Intelligence and its applications. It tackles the possible reasons for this remarkable success, providing candidate paths towards a satisfactory explanation of why it works so well, at least in some domains. A historical account is given for the ups and downs, which have characterized neural networks research and its evolution from “shallow” to “deep” learning architectures. A precise account of “success” is given, in order to sieve out (...)
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  • Predictive Coding and Representationalism.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2).
    According to the predictive coding theory of cognition , brains are predictive machines that use perception and action to minimize prediction error, i.e. the discrepancy between bottom–up, externally-generated sensory signals and top–down, internally-generated sensory predictions. Many consider PCT to have an explanatory scope that is unparalleled in contemporary cognitive science and see in it a framework that could potentially provide us with a unified account of cognition. It is also commonly assumed that PCT is a representational theory of sorts, in (...)
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  • Personal Memories.Marina Trakas - 2015 - Dissertation, Macquarie University
  • The Nature and Implementation of Representation in Biological Systems.Mike Collins - 2009 - Dissertation, City University of New York
    I defend a theory of mental representation that satisfies naturalistic constraints. Briefly, we begin by distinguishing (i) what makes something a representation from (ii) given that a thing is a representation, what determines what it represents. Representations are states of biological organisms, so we should expect a unified theoretical framework for explaining both what it is to be a representation as well as what it is to be a heart or a kidney. I follow Millikan in explaining (i) in terms (...)
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  • Embodying the Mind and Representing the Body.Adrian John Tetteh Alsmith & Frédérique Vignemont - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (1):1-13.
    Does the existence of body representations undermine the explanatory role of the body? Or do certain types of representation depend so closely upon the body that their involvement in a cognitive task implicates the body itself? In the introduction of this special issue we explore lines of tension and complement that might hold between the notions of embodiment and body representations, which remain too often neglected or obscure. To do so, we distinguish two conceptions of embodiment that either put weight (...)
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  • A Framework for Conscious Information Processing.Balaram Das - manuscript
    This paper exploits the fact that the variability in the inter-spike intervals, in the spike train issuing from a neuron, carries substantial information regarding the input to the neuron. A framework for neuronal information processing is proposed which utilizes the above fact to distinguish phenomenal from non-phenomenal mental representation. In the process, an explanation is offered as to what is it, in the nature of conscious mental states, that imparts them a subjective feeling – there is something it is like (...)
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  • Embodying the Mind and Representing the Body.Adrian John Tetteh Alsmith & Frédérique de Vignemont - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (1):1-13.
    Does the existence of body representations undermine the explanatory role of the body? Or do certain types of representation depend so closely upon the body that their involvement in a cognitive task implicates the body itself? In the introduction of this special issue we explore lines of tension and complement that might hold between the notions of embodiment and body representations, which remain too often neglected or obscure. To do so, we distinguish two conceptions of embodiment that either put weight (...)
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  • Action Guidance is Not Enough, Representations Need Correspondence Too: A Plea for a Two-Factor Theory of Representation.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2015 - New Ideas in Psychology:doi:10.1016/j.newideapsych.2015..
    The aim of this article is to critically examine what I call Action-Centric Theories of Representation (ACToRs). I include in this category theories of representation that (1) reject construing representation in terms of a relation that holds between representation itself (the representational vehicle) and what is represented, and instead (2) try to bring the function that representations play for cognitive systems to the center stage. Roughly speaking, according to proponents of ACToRs, what makes a representation (that is, what is constitutive (...)
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  • Outline of a New Approach to the Nature of Mind.Dr Petros A. M. Gelepithis - 2009
    I propose a new approach to the constitutive problem of psychology ‘what is mind?’ The first section introduces modifications of the received scope, methodology, and evaluation criteria of unified theories of cognition in accordance with the requirements of evolutionary compatibility and of a mature science. The second section outlines the proposed theory. Its first part provides empirically verifiable conditions delineating the class of meaningful neural formations and modifies accordingly the traditional conceptions of meaning, concept and thinking. This analysis is part (...)
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  • Idealist Origins: 1920s and Before.Martin Davies & Stein Helgeby - 2014 - In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), History of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 15-54.
    This paper explores early Australasian philosophy in some detail. Two approaches have dominated Western philosophy in Australia: idealism and materialism. Idealism was prevalent between the 1880s and the 1930s, but dissipated thereafter. Idealism in Australia often reflected Kantian themes, but it also reflected the revival of interest in Hegel through the work of ‘absolute idealists’ such as T. H. Green, F. H. Bradley, and Henry Jones. A number of the early New Zealand philosophers were also educated in the idealist tradition (...)
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  • A Deflationary Account of Mental Representation.Frances Egan - 2020 - In Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dolega & Tobias Schlicht (eds.), Mental Representations. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    Among the cognitive capacities of evolved creatures is the capacity to represent. Theories in cognitive neuroscience typically explain our manifest representational capacities by positing internal representations, but there is little agreement about how these representations function, especially with the relatively recent proliferation of connectionist, dynamical, embodied, and enactive approaches to cognition. In this talk I sketch an account of the nature and function of representation in cognitive neuroscience that couples a realist construal of representational vehicles with a pragmatic account of (...)
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  • Phenomenal Transparency and Cognitive Self-Reference.Thomas Metzinger - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (4):353-393.
    A representationalist analysis of strong first-person phenomena is developed (Baker 1998), and it is argued that conscious, cognitive self-reference can be naturalized under this representationalist analysis. According to this view, the phenomenal first-person perspective is a condition of possibility for the emergence of a cognitive first-person perspective. Cognitive self-reference always is reference to the phenomenal content of a transparent self-model. The concepts of phenomenal transparency and introspection are clarified. More generally, I suggest that the concepts of phenomenal opacity and phenomenal (...)
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  • Dreaming.John Sutton - 2009 - In John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.
    As a topic in the philosophy of psychology, dreaming is a fascinating, diverse, and severely underdeveloped area of study. The topic excites intense public interest in its own right, while also challenging our confidence that we know what the words “conscious” and “consciousness” mean. So dreaming should be at the forefront of our interdisciplinary investigations: theories of mind which fail to address the topic are incomplete. This chapter illustrates the tight links between conceptual and empirical issues by highlighting surprisingly deep (...)
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  • Structural Representations: Causally Relevant and Different From Detectors.Paweł Gładziejewski & Marcin Miłkowski - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (3):337-355.
    This paper centers around the notion that internal, mental representations are grounded in structural similarity, i.e., that they are so-called S-representations. We show how S-representations may be causally relevant and argue that they are distinct from mere detectors. First, using the neomechanist theory of explanation and the interventionist account of causal relevance, we provide a precise interpretation of the claim that in S-representations, structural similarity serves as a “fuel of success”, i.e., a relation that is exploitable for the representation using (...)
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  • The Code Model of Biosemiotics and the Fate of the Structuralist Theory of Mental Representation.Majid Davoody Beni - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (1):99-107.
    In this paper I am advocating a structuralist theory of mental representation. For a structuralist theory of mental representation to be defended satisfactorily, the naturalistic and causal constraints have to be satisfied first. The more intractable of the two, i.e., the naturalistic constraint, indicates that to account for the mental representation, we should not invoke “a full-blown interpreting mind”. So, the aim of the paper is to show how the naturalistic and causal constraints could be satisfied. It aims to offer (...)
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  • Does Separating Intentionality From Mental Representation Imply Radical Enactivism?Tobias Schlicht - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
  • The Epistemology of Geometry I: The Problem of Exactness.Anne Newstead & Franklin James - 2010 - Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science 2009.
    We show how an epistemology informed by cognitive science promises to shed light on an ancient problem in the philosophy of mathematics: the problem of exactness. The problem of exactness arises because geometrical knowledge is thought to concern perfect geometrical forms, whereas the embodiment of such forms in the natural world may be imperfect. There thus arises an apparent mismatch between mathematical concepts and physical reality. We propose that the problem can be solved by emphasizing the ways in which the (...)
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  • Explaining Cognitive Phenomena with Internal Representations: A Mechanistic Perspective.Paweł Gładziejewski - 2015 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 40 (1):63-90.
    Despite the fact that the notion of internal representation has - at least according to some - a fundamental role to play in the sciences of the mind, not only has its explanatory utility been under attack for a while now, but it also remains unclear what criteria should an explanation of a given cognitive phenomenon meet to count as a representational explanation in the first place. The aim of this article is to propose a solution to this latter problem. (...)
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  • Remembering Without Storing: Beyond Archival Models in the Science and Philosophy of Human Memory.Ian O'Loughlin - 2014 - Dissertation,
    Models of memory in cognitive science and philosophy have traditionally explained human remembering in terms of storage and retrieval. This tendency has been entrenched by reliance on computationalist explanations over the course of the twentieth century; even research programs that eschew computationalism in name, or attempt the revision of traditional models, demonstrate tacit commitment to computationalist assumptions. It is assumed that memory must be stored by means of an isomorphic trace, that memory processes must divide into conceptually distinct systems and (...)
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  • Introduction to Special Issue on “Enactivism, Representationalism, and Predictive Processing”.Krzysztof Dołęga, Luke Roelofs & Tobias Schlicht - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (2):179-186.
    The papers in this special issue make important contributions to a longstanding debate about how we should conceive of and explain mental phenomena. In other words, they make a case about the best philosophical paradigm for cognitive science. The two main competing approaches, hotly debated for several decades, are representationalism and enactivism. However, recent developments in disciplines such as machine learning and computational neuroscience have fostered a proliferation of intermediate approaches, leading to the emergence of completely new positions, in particular (...)
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  • Content and Misrepresentation in Hierarchical Generative Models.Alex Kiefer & Jakob Hohwy - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2387-2415.
    In this paper, we consider how certain longstanding philosophical questions about mental representation may be answered on the assumption that cognitive and perceptual systems implement hierarchical generative models, such as those discussed within the prediction error minimization framework. We build on existing treatments of representation via structural resemblance, such as those in Gładziejewski :559–582, 2016) and Gładziejewski and Miłkowski, to argue for a representationalist interpretation of the PEM framework. We further motivate the proposed approach to content by arguing that it (...)
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  • Predictive Processing and Anti-Representationalism.Marco Facchin - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11609-11642.
    Many philosophers claim that the neurocomputational framework of predictive processing entails a globally inferentialist and representationalist view of cognition. Here, I contend that this is not correct. I argue that, given the theoretical commitments these philosophers endorse, no structure within predictive processing systems can be rightfully identified as a representational vehicle. To do so, I first examine some of the theoretical commitments these philosophers share, and show that these commitments provide a set of necessary conditions the satisfaction of which allows (...)
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  • 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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  • Structural and Indicator Representations: A Difference in Degree, Not Kind.Gregory Nirshberg & Lawrence Shapiro - 2020 - Synthese 198 (8):7647-7664.
    Some philosophers have offered structural representations as an alternative to indicator-based representations. Motivating these philosophers is the belief that an indication-based analysis of representation exhibits two fatal inadequacies from which structural representations are spared: such an analysis cannot account for the causal role of representational content and cannot explain how representational content can be made determinate. In fact, we argue, indicator and structural representations are on a par with respect to these two problems. This should not be surprising, we contend, (...)
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