Results for 'teleosemantics'

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  1. Teleosemantics, Selection and Novel Contents.Justin Garson & David Papineau - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (3):36.
    Mainstream teleosemantics is the view that mental representation should be understood in terms of biological functions, which, in turn, should be understood in terms of selection processes. One of the traditional criticisms of teleosemantics is the problem of novel contents: how can teleosemantics explain our ability to represent properties that are evolutionarily novel? In response, some have argued that by generalizing the notion of a selection process to include phenomena such as operant conditioning, and the neural selection (...)
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  2. Teleosemantics Without Etiology.Bence Nanay - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):798-810.
    The aim of teleosemantics is to give a scientifically respectable, or ‘naturalistic’ theory of mental content. In the debates surrounding the scope and merits of teleosemantics a lot has been said about the concept of indication (or carrying information). The aim of this paper is to focus on the other key concept of teleosemantics: biological function. It has been universally accepted in the teleosemantics literature that the account of biological function one should use to flesh out (...)
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  3. A Teleosemantic Approach to Information in the Brain.Rosa Cao - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):49-71.
    The brain is often taken to be a paradigmatic example of a signaling system with semantic and representational properties, in which neurons are senders and receivers of information carried in action potentials. A closer look at this picture shows that it is not as appealing as it might initially seem in explaining the function of the brain. Working from several sender-receiver models within the teleosemantic framework, I will first argue that two requirements must be met for a system to support (...)
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  4. Teleosemantics and the free energy principle.Stephen Francis Mann & Ross Pain - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-25.
    The free energy principle is notoriously difficult to understand. In this paper, we relate the principle to a framework that philosophers of biology are familiar with: Ruth Millikan’s teleosemantics. We argue that: systems that minimise free energy are systems with a proper function; and Karl Friston’s notion of implicit modelling can be understood in terms of Millikan’s notion of mapping relations. Our analysis reveals some surprising formal similarities between the two frameworks, and suggests interesting lines of future research. We (...)
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  5. Teleosemantics: New Philo-Sophical Essays.Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.) - 2006 - Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    Teleosemantics seeks to explain meaning and other intentional phenomena in terms of their function in the life of the species. This volume of new essays from an impressive line-up of well-known contributors offers a valuable summary of the current state of the teleosemantics debate.
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  6. Teleosemantics Without Natural Selection.Marshall Abrams - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):97-116.
    Ruth Millikan and others advocate theories which attempt to naturalize wide mental content (e.g. beliefs.
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  7.  31
    Teleosemantics and tetrachromacy.Brian Porter - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):1-22.
    Teleosemantics explains mental representation in terms of etiological history: a mental state’s representational contents are the result of natural selection, or some other selection process. Critics have argued that the “swampman” thought experiment poses a counterexample to teleosemantics. In several recent papers, Papineau has argued that a merely possible swampman cannot serve as a counterexample to teleosemantics, but has acknowledged that actual swampmen would pose a problem for teleosemantics. In this paper, I argue that there are (...)
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  8. Teleosemantics and Indeterminacy.Manolo Martínez - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):427-453.
    In the first part of the paper, I present a framework for the description and evaluation of teleosemantic theories of intentionality, and use it to argue that several different objections to these theories (the various indeterminacy and adequacy problems) are, in a certain precise sense, manifestations of the same underlying issue. I then use the framework to show that Millikan's biosemantics, her own recent declarations to the contrary notwithtanding, presents indeterminacy. In the second part, I develop a novel teleosemantic proposal (...)
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  9. Metaethics, Teleosemantics and the Function of Moral Judgements.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):639-662.
    This paper applies the theory of teleosemantics to the issue of moral content. Two versions of teleosemantics are distinguished: input-based and output-based. It is argued that applying either to the case of moral judgements generates the conclusion that such judgements have both descriptive (belief-like) and directive (desire-like) content, intimately entwined. This conclusion directly validates neither descriptivism nor expressivism, but the application of teleosemantics to moral content does leave the descriptivist with explanatory challenges which the expressivist does not (...)
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  10. Teleosemantic Modeling of Cognitive Representations.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):483-505.
    Naturalistic theories of representation seek to specify the conditions that must be met for an entity to represent another entity. Although these approaches have been relatively successful in certain areas, such as communication theory or genetics, many doubt that they can be employed to naturalize complex cognitive representations. In this essay I identify some of the difficulties for developing a teleosemantic theory of cognitive representations and provide a strategy for accommodating them: to look into models of signaling in evolutionary game (...)
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  11. Teleosemantics, Swampman, and Strong Representationalism.Uwe Peters - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):273–288.
    Teleosemantics explains mental representation in terms of biological function and selection history. One of the main objections to the account is the so-called ‘Swampman argument’ (Davidson 1987), which holds that there could be a creature with mental representation even though it lacks a selection history. A number of teleosemanticists reject the argument by emphasising that it depends on assuming a creature that is fi ctitious and hence irrelevant for teleosemantics because the theory is only concerned with representations in (...)
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  12. Teleosemantics and Productivity.Manolo Martinez - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):47-68.
    There has been much discussion of so-called teleosemantic approaches to the naturalization of content. Such discussion, though, has been largely confined to simple, innate mental states with contents such as ?There is a fly here.? Even assuming we can solve the issues that crop up at this stage, an account of the content of human mental states will not get too far without an account of productivity: the ability to entertain indefinitely many thoughts. The best-known teleosemantic theory, Millikan's biosemantics, offers (...)
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  13. Teleosemantics and the Hard Problem of Content.Stephen Francis Mann & Ross Pain - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (1):22-46.
    Hutto and Myin claim that teleosemantics cannot account for mental content. In their view, teleosemantics accounts for a poorer kind of relation between cognitive states and the world but lacks the theoretical tools to account for a richer kind. We show that their objection imposes two criteria on theories of content: a truth-evaluable criterion and an intensionality criterion. For the objection to go through, teleosemantics must be subject to both these criteria and must fail to satisfy them. (...)
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  14. Can Teleosemantics Deflect the EAAN?Brian Leahy - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):221-238.
    Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism aims to show that the conjunction of contemporary evolutionary theory (E) with the claim that there is no God (N) cannot be rationally accepted. Where R is the claim that our cognitive faculties are reliable, the argument is: The probability of R given N and E is low or inscrutable.Anyone who sees (1) and accepts (N&E) has a defeater for R, and this defeater cannot be defeated or deflected.Anyone who has an undefeated, undeflected defeater (...)
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  15. Teleosemantics and Indeterminacy.David Papineau - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):1-14.
    The aim of this paper is to defend the teleological theory of representation against an objection by Jerry Fodor. I shall argue that previous attempts to answer this objection fail to recognize the importance of belief-desire structure for the teleological theory of representation.
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  16. Teleosemantics.David Papineau - 2017 - In David Livingstone Smith (ed.), How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 95-120.
  17. Teleosemantics and Pushmi-Pullyu Representations.Marc Artiga - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):1-22.
    One of the main tenets of current teleosemantic theories is that simple representations are Pushmi-Pullyu states, i.e. they carry descriptive and imperative content at the same time. In the paper I present an argument that shows that if we add this claim to the core tenets of teleosemantics, then (1) it entails that, necessarily, all representations are Pushmi-Pullyu states and (2) it undermines one of the main motivations for the Pushmi-Pullyu account.
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  18. Teleosemantics: Etiological Foundations.Sören Häggqvist - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (1):73-83.
    Teleosemantics is a naturalistic research programme in the philosophy of mind and language. Its ambition is to achieve a reduction, first, of mental content to teleological function; second, of teleological function to non‐teleological notions. This article explores the second step, particularly as envisaged by Millikan’s etiological theory of function.
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  19. Perceptual Representations: A Teleosemantic Answer to the Breadth-of-Application Problem.Peter Schulte - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):119-136.
    Teleosemantic theories of representation are often criticized as being “too liberal”, i.e. as categorizing states as representations which are not representational at all. Recently, a powerful version of this objection has been put forth by Tyler Burge. Focusing on perception, Burge defends the claim that all teleosemantic theories apply too broadly, thereby missing what is distinctive about representation. Contra Burge, I will argue in this paper that there is a teleosemantic account of perceptual states that does not fall prey to (...)
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  20. Lockian teleosemantics.Sally Ferguson - 2001 - Locke Studies 1:105-122.
  21. 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 (...)
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  22. Representation, Teleosemantics, and the Problem of Self-Knowledge.Fred Dretske - 2006 - In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics. Oxford University Press.
  23. Teleosemantics: Intentionality, Productivity, and the Theory of Meaning.Brian Leahy - 2014 - Language and Linguistics Compass 8 (5).
    Since the publication of Ruth Millikan's Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories in 1984, a great deal of literature has discussed her so-called teleosemantic or biosemantic solution to the problem of intentionality. Only recently, though, has much attention been paid to her co-ordinated solution to the problem of productivity. This article, first, clearly describes the problems of intentionality, productivity, and compositionality, and describes their relationships and their relevance for the theory of meaning. It then describes Millikan's proposal with respect to (...)
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  24. Mental Representation, Naturalism, and Teleosemantics.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2004 - In David Papineau & Graham MacDonald (eds.), Teleosemantics: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    The "teleosemantic" program is part of the attempt to give a naturalistic explanation of the semantic properties of mental representations. The aim is to show how the internal states of a wholly physical agent could, as a matter of objective fact, represent the world beyond them. The most popular approach to solving this problem has been to use concepts of physical correlation with some kinship to those employed in information theory (Dretske 1981, 1988; Fodor 1987, 1990). Teleosemantics, which tries (...)
     
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  25.  48
    Ahistorical Teleosemantics: An Alternative to Nanay.Mark Bauer - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (2):158-176.
    The dominant view in teleosemantics is that semantic functions are historically determined. That reliance on history has been subject to repeated criticism. To sidestep such criticisms, Nanay has recently offered an ahistorical alternative that swaps out historical properties for modal properties. Nanay's ahistorical modal alternative suffers, I think, serious problems of its own. I suggest here another ahistorical alternative for teleosemantics. The motivation for both the historical view and Nanay's is to provide a naturalistic basis to characterize some (...)
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  26. Teleosemantics, Infotel-Semantics and Circularity.Marc Artiga - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):583-603.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith and Nicholas Shea have argued that standard versions of teleosemantics render explanations of successful behavior by appealing to true beliefs circular and, consequently, non-explanatory. As an alternative, Shea has recently suggested an original teleosemantic account (that he calls ?Infotel-semantics?), which is supposed to be immune to the problem of circularity. The paper argues that the standard version of teleosemantics has a satisfactory reply to the circularity objection and that, in any case, Infotel-semantics is not better off (...)
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  27.  20
    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 (...)
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  28.  92
    Neuroscience and Teleosemantics.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2457-2465.
    Correctly understood, teleosemantics is the claim that “representation” is a function term. Things are called “representations” if they have a certain kind of function or telos and perform it in a certain kind of way. This claim is supported with a discussion and proposals about the function of a representation and of how representations perform that function. These proposals have been retrieved by putting together current descriptions from the literature on neural representations with earlier explorations of the features common (...)
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  29.  65
    A Consumer‐Based Teleosemantics for Animal Signals.Ulrich E. Stegmann - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):864-875.
    Ethological theory standardly attributes representational content to animal signals. In this article I first assess whether Ruth Millikan’s teleosemantic theory accounts for the content of animal signals. I conclude that it does not, because many signals do not exhibit the required sort of cooperation between signal‐producing and signal‐consuming devices. It is then argued that Kim Sterelny’s proposal, while not requiring cooperation, sometimes yields the wrong content. Finally, I outline an alternative view, according to which consumers alone are responsible for conferring (...)
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  30.  2
    Teleosemantics, Externalism, and the Content of Theoretical Concepts.Daniel C. Burnston - unknown
    In several works, Ruth Millikan has developed a ‘teleosemantic’ theory of concepts. Millikan’s theory has three explicit desiderata for concepts: wide scope, non-descriptionist content, and naturalism. I contend that Millikan’s theory cannot fulfill all of these desiderata simultaneously. Theoretical concepts, such as those of chemistry and physics, fall under Millikan’s intended scope, but I will argue that her theory cannot account for these concepts in a way that is compatible with both non-descriptionism and naturalism. In these cases, Millikan’s view is (...)
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  31.  55
    Teleosemantics Re-Examined: Content, Explanation and Norms: Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury and Kenneth Williford : Millikan and Her Critics. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, 2013, 297 Pp.Carolyn Price - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):587-596.
    This essay reviews a collection of thirteen critical essays on the work of Ruth Millikan. The collection covers a broad range of her work, focusing in particular on her account of simple intentionality, her theory of concepts and her metaphysical views. I highlight and briefly discuss three issues that crop up repeatedly though the collection: (1) Millikan’s externalism (and in particular, her emphasis on how intentional states are used, rather than how they are produced); (2) the nature of intentional explanation; (...)
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  32. Toward an Informational Teleosemantics.Karen Neander - 2013 - In Dan Ryder, Justine Kingsbury & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Millikan and Her Critics. Wiley. pp. 21--40.
  33.  96
    Teleosemantics and the Troubles of Naturalism.Steven J. Wagner - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 82 (1):81-110.
  34. Mind and Function – Teleosemantics Beyond Selected Effects.Fabian Hundertmark - 2018 - Dissertation, Universität Bielefeld
    Perceptual representations are either correct or incorrect. Their correctness depends on their content and on the way the world is. Teleosemantics delivers compelling explanations of why our perceptual representations have contents, whereby it assigns the notion of "function" a central explanatory role. The author of this thesis engages in the search for a theory of function suited for this purpose. After a detailed evaluation of the selected effects​ theory and dispositional theories, the author argues that a synthesis is best (...)
     
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  35. A Teleosemantic Theory of Mental Conditionals.Brian Leahy - manuscript
    The purposes of this paper are first, to develop clearly the problem of mental conditionals for Millikan’s theory; second, to show why existing approaches to conditional semantics face serious challenges from a teleosemantic perspective; and third, to offer an account of the function of mental conditionals that meets the requirements of Millikan’s theory. We end up not only with a solution to a standing problem for teleosemantics, but also with a novel avenue for research in conditional semantics.
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  36.  41
    Comment on Artiga’s “Teleosemantics and Pushmi-Pullyu Representations”.Ruth Garrett Millikan - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-9.
    Teleosemantics and Pushmi-Pullyu Representations” argues that core teleosemantics, particularly as defined in Millikan :281–297, 1989, White queen psychology and other essays for Alice, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1993, Philosophical perspectives, Ridgeview Publishing, Alascadero, 1996, Varieties of meaning, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2004–2008), seems to imply that all descriptive representations are at the same time directive and that directives are at the same time descriptive, hence that all representations are pushmi-pullyu representations. A pushmi-pullyu representation is at once indicative and imperative, telling (...)
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  37. Mental Representation, Naturalism, and Teleosemantics.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2006 - In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics. Clarendon Press.
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  38.  38
    Teleosemantics and Useless Content: A Critical Remark on Millikan’s Account.Andrés L. Jaume - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 42:85-90.
    Teleosemantic theories of content constitute a mixed family of different proposals and accounts about what consists mental content. In the present paper, I would like examine the scope and limits of a particular and well defined teleosemantic theory such as Millikan’s account. My aim entails presenting arguments in order to show how her theory of mental content is unnable of giving a complete account of the whole mental life almost for adult human agents without commiting certain adaptationist assumptions. I am (...)
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  39.  43
    New Norms for Teleosemantics.Timothy Schroeder - 2004 - In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Representation in Mind. Elsevier. pp. 1--91.
    Teleosemantics has a problem: it holds that to have a mind one must have a history, often a long evolutionary history. The solution to the problem is for teleosemanticists to give up on natural selection as the source of natural norms (functions) for neural structures, and to find a different source of natural norms which is not essentially history-involving. Such a source in fact exists, in cybernetic governance. This paper argues for the existence of natural norms derived from cybernetic (...)
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  40.  64
    On Teleosemantics and Natural Maps (Comments on Work by Rob Cummins Et Al.).Joe Cruz - 2005
    Let me begin by signaling my enthusiasm both for the specific case offered by Cummins et al. against teleosemantics and for the overall framework from which this work derives. If the first approximation of the idea is that there will be material implicit in a representation that can be exploited by a cognitive agent that later acquires the right abilities to extract this material, and if this material looks a great deal like content, then the teleosemanticist will find accommodating (...)
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  41. Reliable Misrepresentation and Teleosemantics.Marc Artiga - 2013 - Disputatio (37):265-281.
    Mendelovici (forthcoming) has recently argued that (1) tracking theories of mental representation (including teleosemantics) are incompatible with the possibility of reliable misrepresentation and that (2) this is an important difficulty for them. Furthermore, she argues that this problem commits teleosemantics to an unjustified a priori rejection of color eliminativism. In this paper I argue that (1) teleosemantics can accommodate most cases of reliable misrepresentation, (2) those cases the theory fails to account for are not objectionable and (3) (...)
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  42. The Status of Teleosemantics, or How to Stop Worrying About Swampman.David Papineau - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):279-89.
  43. An Input Condition for Teleosemantics? Reply to Shea (and Godfrey-Smith).Ruth Garrett Millikan - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):436-455.
    In his essay "Consumers Need Information: Supplementing Teleosemantics with an Input Condition" (this issue) Nicholas Shea argues, with support from the work of Peter Godfrey-Smith (1996), that teleosemantics, as David Papinau and I have articulated it, cannot explain why "content attribution can be used to explain successful behavior." This failure is said to result from defining the intentional contents of representations by reference merely to historically normal conditions for success of their "outputs," that is, of their uses by (...)
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  44.  38
    The Excesses of Teleosemantics.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (sup1):117-137.
    Teleosemantics asserts that mental content is determined by natural selection. The thesis is that content is fixed by the historical conditions under which certain cognitive mechanisms—those that produce and those that interpret representational states—were selectively successful. Content is fixed by conditions of selective success. The thesis of this paper is that teleosemantics is mistaken, that content cannot be fixed by conditions of selective success, because those conditions typically outnumber the intentional objects within a given representational state. To defend (...)
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  45.  45
    Teleosemantics and the Consumer.Mohan Matthen - 2006 - In Graham Macdonald & David Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics. Oxford University Press. pp. 146--166.
    Argues that the meaning of perceptual states depends on certain simple "actions" of conditioning and habituation innately associated with them. A game theoretic account of the meaning of perceptual states is offered.
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  46.  67
    Why mental content is not like water: reconsidering the reductive claims of teleosemantics.Peter Schulte - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2271-2290.
    According to standard teleosemantics, intentional states are selectional states. This claim is put forward not as a conceptual analysis, but as a ‘theoretical reduction’—an a posteriori hypothesis analogous to ‘water = H2O’. Critics have tried to show that this meta-theoretical conception of teleosemantics leads to unacceptable consequences. In this paper, I argue that there is indeed a fundamental problem with the water/H2O analogy, as it is usually construed, and that teleosemanticists should therefore reject it. Fortunately, there exists a (...)
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  47. Teleosemantics, Kripkenstein and Paradox Commentary.D. Bonevac - 2000 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 71:168-181.
     
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  48. Teleosemantics.Mark Rowlands - unknown - A Field Guide to the Philosophy of Mind.
     
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  49.  23
    Teleosemantics and the Epiphenomenality of Content.Eric Saidel - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (sup1):139-166.
    The naturalistically inclined philosopher of mind faces two related challenges: show how mental content could be part of the natural world, and show how content can be one of the factors responsible for producing behaviour, that is, show that content is not epiphenomenal. One might pursue the first goal with the intent of showing that mental content is epiphenomenal, but it is more likely that the philosopher concerned with showing how content can be naturalized also expects content to be causally (...)
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  50.  28
    Teleosemantics and the Epiphenomenality of Content.Eric Saidel - 2001 - In J. S. McIntosh (ed.), Canadian Journal of Philosophy. University of Calgary Press. pp. 139-166.
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