A Mark of the Mental: A Defence of Informational Teleosemantics

Cambridge, USA: MIT Press (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Drawing on insights from causal theories of reference, teleosemantics, and state space semantics, a theory of naturalized mental representation. In A Mark of the Mental, Karen Neander considers the representational power of mental states—described by the cognitive scientist Zenon Pylyshyn as the “second hardest puzzle” of philosophy of mind. The puzzle at the heart of the book is sometimes called “the problem of mental content,” “Brentano's problem,” or “the problem of intentionality.” Its motivating mystery is how neurobiological states can have semantic properties such as meaning or reference. Neander proposes a naturalistic account for sensory-perceptual representations. Neander draws on insights from state-space semantics, causal theories of reference, and teleosemantic theories. She proposes and defends an intuitive, theoretically well-motivated but highly controversial thesis: sensory-perceptual systems have the function to produce inner state changes that are the analogs of as well as caused by their referents. Neander shows that the three main elements—functions, causal-information relations, and relations of second-order similarity—complement rather than conflict with each other. After developing an argument for teleosemantics by examining the nature of explanation in the mind and brain sciences, she develops a theory of mental content and defends it against six main content-determinacy challenges to a naturalized semantics.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,346

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

Teleosemantics without etiology.Bence Nanay - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):798-810.
Toward an Informational Teleosemantics.Karen Neander - 2013 - In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and Her Critics. Wiley. pp. 21--40.
Introduction: Prospects and problems for teleosemantics.Graham Macdonald & David Papineau - 2006 - In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 1--22.
Teleosemantics, Swampman, and Strong Representationalism.Uwe Peters - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):273–288.
Mental representation, naturalism, and teleosemantics.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2004 - In David Papineau & Graham MacDonald (eds.), Teleosemantics: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
Teleosemantics without natural selection.Marshall Abrams - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):97-116.
. Content for Cognitive Science.Karen Neander - 2006 - In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics. Oxford University Press.
Teleosemantics: Etiological Foundations.Sören Häggqvist - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (1):73-83.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-07-23

Downloads
28 (#418,835)

6 months
8 (#105,488)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Karen Neander
PhD: La Trobe University; Last affiliation: Duke University

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references