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  1. Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information.Brian Skyrms - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Brian Skyrms offers a fascinating demonstration of how fundamental signals are to our world. He uses various scientific tools to investigate how meaning and communication develop. Signals operate in networks of senders and receivers at all levels of life, transmitting and processing information. That is how humans and animals think and interact.
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  • Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems.Jon Barwise & Jerry Seligman - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
    Presents a mathematically rigorous, philosophically sound foundation for a science of information.
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  • Compressibility, Laws of Nature, Initial Conditions and Complexity.Sergio Chibbaro & Angelo Vulpiani - 2017 - Foundations of Physics 47 (10):1368-1386.
    We critically analyse the point of view for which laws of nature are just a mean to compress data. Discussing some basic notions of dynamical systems and information theory, we show that the idea that the analysis of large amount of data by means of an algorithm of compression is equivalent to the knowledge one can have from scientific laws, is rather naive. In particular we discuss the subtle conceptual topic of the initial conditions of phenomena which are generally incompressible. (...)
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  • The Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature.Joseph Butler - 1736 - James, John and Paul Knapton.
    If the reader should meet here with anything which he had not before attended to, it will not be in the observations upon the constitution and course of nature, ...
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  • Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    _ Convention_ was immediately recognized as a major contribution to the subject and its significance has remained undiminished since its first publication in 1969. Lewis analyzes social conventions as regularities in the resolution of recurring coordination problems-situations characterized by interdependent decision processes in which common interests are at stake. Conventions are contrasted with other kinds of regularity, and conventions governing systems of communication are given special attention.
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  • Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysicians speak of laws of nature in terms of necessity and universality; scientists, in terms of symmetry and invariance. In this book van Fraassen argues that no metaphysical account of laws can succeed. He analyzes and rejects the arguments that there are laws of nature, or that we must believe there are, and argues that we should disregard the idea of law as an adequate clue to science. After exploring what this means for general epistemology, the author develops the empiricist (...)
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  • Varieties of Meaning: The 2002 Jean Nicod Lectures.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2004 - MIT Press.
    How the various things that are said to have meaning—purpose, natural signs, linguistic signs, perceptions, and thoughts—are related to one another.
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  • Explaining Behavior: Reasons in a World of Causes.Fred Dretske - 1988 - MIT Press.
    In this lucid portrayal of human behavior, Fred Dretske provides an original account of the way reasons function in the causal explanation of behavior.
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  • The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    It is often supposed that the spectacular successes of our modern mathematical sciences support a lofty vision of a world completely ordered by one single elegant theory. In this book Nancy Cartwright argues to the contrary. When we draw our image of the world from the way modern science works - as empiricism teaches us we should - we end up with a world where some features are precisely ordered, others are given to rough regularity and still others behave in (...)
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  • What is a Law of Nature?D. M. Armstrong - 1983 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a study of a crucial and controversial topic in metaphysics and the philosophy of science: the status of the laws of nature. D. M. Armstrong works out clearly and in comprehensive detail a largely original view that laws are relations between properties or universals. The theory is continuous with the views on universals and more generally with the scientific realism that Professor Armstrong has advanced in earlier publications. He begins here by mounting an attack on the orthodox and (...)
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  • Meaning.Herbert Paul Grice - 1957 - Philosophical Review 66 (3):377-388.
  • Intentionality.Pierre Jacob - 2003 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs. The puzzles of intentionality lie at the interface between the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language. The word itself, which is of medieval Scholastic origin, was rehabilitated by the philosopher Franz Brentano towards the end of the nineteenth century. ‘Intentionality’ is a philosopher's word. It derives from the Latin word intentio, which in turn derives from the verb (...)
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  • A Mark of the Mental: A Defence of Informational Teleosemantics.Karen Neander - 2017 - Cambridge, USA: MIT Press.
    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 (...)
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  • Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Ruth Garrett Millikan presents a strikingly original account of how we get to grips with the world in thought. Her question is Kant's 'How is knowledge possible?', answered from a contemporary naturalist standpoint. We begin with an understanding of what the world is like prior to cognition, then develop a theory of cognition within that world.
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  • Physical Modality, Laws, and Counterfactuals.James Woodward - 2017 - Synthese 197:1907–1929.
    Standard philosophical accounts attempt to understand physical modality either in terms of special metaphysical entities and relationships or in terms of the organization of non-modal information, as in Best Systems Analysis. This paper defends an alternative to both these approaches in which invariance and various independence conditions play a central role. The methodological importance of separating law-claims from claims about initial and boundary conditions is highlighted.
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  • The Reference Class Problem is Your Problem Too.Alan Hájek - 2007 - Synthese 156 (3):563--585.
    The reference class problem arises when we want to assign a probability to a proposition (or sentence, or event) X, which may be classified in various ways, yet its probability can change depending on how it is classified. The problem is usually regarded as one specifically for the frequentist interpretation of probability and is often considered fatal to it. I argue that versions of the classical, logical, propensity and subjectivist interpretations also fall prey to their own variants of the reference (...)
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  • Probability as a Guide to Life.Helen Beebee & David Papineau - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (5):217-243.
  • Probability as a Guide to Life.Helen Beebee & David Papineau - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (5):217.
  • Information Without Truth.Andrea Scarantino & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (3):313-330.
    Abstract: According to the Veridicality Thesis, information requires truth. On this view, smoke carries information about there being a fire only if there is a fire, the proposition that the earth has two moons carries information about the earth having two moons only if the earth has two moons, and so on. We reject this Veridicality Thesis. We argue that the main notions of information used in cognitive science and computer science allow A to have information about the obtaining of (...)
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  • A Generalized Selected Effects Theory of Function.Justin Garson - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):523-543.
    I present and defend the generalized selected effects theory (GSE) of function. According to GSE, the function of a trait consists in the activity that contributed to its bearer’s differential reproduction, or differential retention, within a population. Unlike the traditional selected effects (SE) theory, it does not require that the functional trait helped its bearer reproduce; differential retention is enough. Although the core theory has been presented previously, I go significantly beyond those presentations by providing a new argument for GSE (...)
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  • Laws and Initial Conditions.Mathias Frisch - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):696-706.
    I discuss two case studies from classical electrodynamics challenging the distinction between laws that delineate physically possible words and initial conditions. First, for many reasonable initial conditions there exist no global solutions to the Maxwell‐Lorentz equations for continuous charge distributions. Second, in deriving an equation of motion for a charged point particle one needs to invoke an asymptotic condition that seems to express a physically contingent fact even though it is mathematically necessary for the derivation.
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  • The Concept of Information in Biology.John Maynard Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):177-194.
    The use of informational terms is widespread in molecular and developmental biology. The usage dates back to Weismann. In both protein synthesis and in later development, genes are symbols, in that there is no necessary connection between their form (sequence) and their effects. The sequence of a gene has been determined, by past natural selection, because of the effects it produces. In biology, the use of informational terms implies intentionality, in that both the form of the signal, and the response (...)
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  • Functions as Selected Effects: The Conceptual Analyst’s Defense.Karen Neander - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (2):168-184.
    In this paper I defend an etiological theory of biological functions (according to which the proper function of a trait is the effect for which it was selected by natural selection) against three objections which have been influential. I argue, contrary to Millikan, that it is wrong to base our defense of the theory on a rejection of conceptual analysis, for conceptual analysis does have an important role in philosophy of science. I also argue that biology requires a normative notion (...)
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  • Laws of Nature.Fred I. Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.
    It is a traditional empiricist doctrine that natural laws are universal truths. In order to overcome the obvious difficulties with this equation most empiricists qualify it by proposing to equate laws with universal truths that play a certain role, or have a certain function, within the larger scientific enterprise. This view is examined in detail and rejected; it fails to account for a variety of features that laws are acknowledged to have. An alternative view is advanced in which laws are (...)
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  • Consumers Need Information: Supplementing Teleosemantics with an Input Condition.Nicholas Shea - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):404-435.
    The success of a piece of behaviour is often explained by its being caused by a true representation (similarly, failure falsity). In some simple organisms, success is just survival and reproduction. Scientists explain why a piece of behaviour helped the organism to survive and reproduce by adverting to the behaviour’s having been caused by a true representation. That usage should, if possible, be vindicated by an adequate naturalistic theory of content. Teleosemantics cannot do so, when it is applied to simple (...)
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  • Explanation, Abstraction, and Difference‐Making.Michael Strevens - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):726-731.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 99, Issue 3, Page 726-731, November 2019.
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  • Indication and Adaptation.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1992 - Synthese 92 (2):283-312.
    This paper examines the relationship between a family of concepts involving reliable correlation, and a family of concepts involving adaptation and biological function, as these concepts are used in the naturalistic semantic theory of Dretske's "Explaining Behavior." I argue that Dretske's attempt to marry correlation and function to produce representation fails, though aspects of his failure point the way forward to a better theory.
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  • Laws: An Invariance-Based Account.James Woodward - 2018 - In Ott & Patton (eds.), Laws of Nature. Oxford University Press.
    This paper defends an invariance-based account of laws of nature: Laws are generalizations that remain invariant under various sorts of changes. Alternatively, laws are generalizations that exhibit a certain kind of independence from background conditions.
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  • Convention: A Philosophical Study.David K. Lewis - 1971 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 4 (2):137-138.
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  • Functional Analysis and Proper Functions.Paul E. Griffiths - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):409-422.
    The etiological approach to ‘proper functions’ in biology can be strengthened by relating it to Robert Cummins' general treatment of function ascription. The proper functions of a biological trait are the functions it is assigned in a Cummins-style functional explanation of the fitness of ancestors. These functions figure in selective explanations of the trait. It is also argued that some recent etiological theories include inaccurate accounts of selective explanation in biology. Finally, a generalization of the notion of selective explanation allows (...)
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  • Initial Conditions and the 'Open Systems' Argument Against Laws of Nature.Clint Ballinger - 2008 - Metaphysica 9 (1):17-31.
    This article attacks “open systems” arguments that because constant conjunctions are not generally observed in the real world of open systems we should be highly skeptical that universal laws exist. This work differs from other critiques of open system arguments against laws of nature by not focusing on laws themselves, but rather on the inference from open systems. We argue that open system arguments fail for two related reasons; 1) because they cannot account for the “systems” central to their argument (...)
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  • Natural Laws and the Problem of Provisos.Marc Lange - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (2):233Ð248.
    Hempel and Giere contend that the existence of provisos poses grave difficulties for any regularity account of physical law. However, Hempel and Giere rely upon a mistaken conception of the way in which statements acquire their content. By correcting this mistake, I remove the problem Hempel and Giere identify but reveal a different problem that provisos pose for a regularity account — indeed, for any account of physical law according to which the state of affairs described by a law-statement presupposes (...)
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  • Information as a Probabilistic Difference Maker.Andrea Scarantino - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):419-443.
    By virtue of what do alarm calls and facial expressions carry natural information? The answer I defend in this paper is that they carry natural information by virtue of changing the probabilities of various states of affairs, relative to background data. The Probabilistic Difference Maker Theory of natural information that I introduce here is inspired by Dretske's [1981] seminal analysis of natural information, but parts ways with it by eschewing the requirements that information transmission must be nomically underwritten, mind-independent, and (...)
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  • An Objective Counterfactual Theory of Information.Jonathan Cohen & Aaron Meskin - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (3):333 – 352.
    We offer a novel theory of information that differs from traditional accounts in two respects: (i) it explains information in terms of counterfactuals rather than conditional probabilities, and (ii) it does not make essential reference to doxastic states of subjects, and consequently allows for the sort of objective, reductive explanations of various notions in epistemology and philosophy of mind that many have wanted from an account of information.
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  • Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 182 (3):327-329.
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  • A Mathematical Theory of Communication.Claude E. Shannon - 1948 - Bell System Technical Journal 27:379–423.
  • Misrepresentation.Fred I. Dretske - 1986 - In Radu Bogdan (ed.), Belief: Form, Content, and Function. Oxford University Press. pp. 17--36.
  • What has Natural Information to Do with Intentional Representation?Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2001 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 49:105-125.
    ‘According to informational semantics, if it's necessary that a creature can't distinguish Xs from Ys, it follows that the creature can't have a concept that applies to Xs but not Ys.’ There is, indeed, a form of informational semantics that has this verificationist implication. The original definition of information given in Dretske'sKnowledge and the Flow of Information, when employed as a base for a theory of intentional representation or ‘content,’ has this implication. I will argue that, in fact, most of (...)
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  • Physical modality, laws, and counterfactuals.James Woodward - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1907-1929.
    Standard philosophical accounts attempt to understand physical modality either in terms of special metaphysical entities and relationships or in terms of the organization of non-modal information, as in Best Systems Analysis. This paper defends an alternative to both these approaches in which invariance and various independence conditions play a central role. The methodological importance of separating law-claims from claims about initial and boundary conditions is highlighted.
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  • The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):244-247.
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  • The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 2002 - Noûs 36 (4):699-725.
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  • The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 2001 - Erkenntnis 54 (3):411-415.
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  • Natural Probabilistic Information.Daniel M. Kraemer - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2901-2919.
    Natural information refers to the information carried by natural signs such as that smoke is thought to carry natural information about fire. A number of influential philosophers have argued that natural information can also be utilized in a theory of mental content. The most widely discussed account of natural information holds that it results from an extremely strong relation between sign and signified. Critics have responded that it is doubtful that there are many strong relations of this sort in the (...)
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  • The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Nancy Cartwright - 1999 - Philosophy 75 (294):613-616.
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  • Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1984 - Behaviorism 14 (1):51-56.
     
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  • What has Natural Information to Do with Intentional Representation?Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2001 - In D. Walsh (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 105-125.
    "According to informational semantics, if it's necessary that a creature can't distinguish Xs from Ys, it follows that the creature can't have a concept that applies to Xs but not Ys." (Jerry Fodor, The Elm and the Expert, p.32).
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  • Varieties of Meaning: The 2002 Jean Nicod Lectures.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):674-681.
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  • Problems with Probabilistic Semantics.Gilbert Harman - 1983 - In Alex Orenstein & Rafael Stern (eds.), Developments in Semantics. Haven. pp. 243-237.
  • A New Perspective on Representational Problems.Chris Eliasmith - 2005 - Journal of Cognitive Science 6:97-123.
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