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Volume 22, 2006
Compositionality, Concepts and Representations II

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Displaying: 1-17 of 17 documents

1. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Sofia Miguens D. Dennett’s brand of anti-representationalism: a key to philosophical issues of cognitive science
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Although D. Dennett is sometimes accused of insensitivity to ‘real’, first-person problems of the mind, his Intentional Systems Theory offers a comprehensive, cognitive science grounded, account of the nature of subjectivity. This account involves views on intentionality (concern­ing the nature of the representation relation, content, psychological explanation), consciousness (comprising a functionalist model, a second order, belief-like, theory of self-awareness, and a deflationary view of qualia), personhood and freedom of action (concerning what must be in place in terms of cognition for the mentalistic concepts of ‘person’ and ‘action’ to apply). Since Dennett defends that the principles for understanding intentionality and consciousness are the same, in order to understand his brand of anti-representationalism we must deal with both intentionality and consciousness. That is what I will do in this article. I will also discuss the metaphysical implications of anti-representationalism, and in general use Dennett’s work as a key to describe how a range of philosophical issues of cognitive science appear from an anti-representationalist point of view.
2. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Kent Johnson Externalist Thoughts and the Scope of Linguistics
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A common assumption in metaphysics and the philosophy of language is that the general structure of language displays the general metaphysical structure of the things we talk about. But expressions can easily be imperfect representations of what they are about. After clarifying this general point, I make a case study of a recent attempt to semantically analyze the nature of knowledge-how. This attempt fails because there appears to be no plausible bridge from the linguistic structure of knowledge-how reports to knowledge-how itself. I then gesture at some other places where the connection between linguistics and metaphysics is commonly, but illegitimately, assumed.
3. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Christopher Viger Presentations and Symbols: What Cognition Requires of Representationalism
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I consider how several results from cognitive science bear on the nature of representation and how representations might be structured. Distinguishing two notions of representation, presentations, which are cases of direct sensing, and symbols, which stand in for something else, I argue that only symbols pose a philosophical problem for naturalizing content. What is required is an account of how one thing can stand in for another. Milner and Goodale’s dual route model of vision offers a model for this ‘stand-in’ relation. Following this model, symbols must play a functional role of activating cognitive operations relevant to what the symbols stand in for. What emerges is an interconnected network of symbols whose tokenings are central – as opposed to modular – cognitive operations. A consequence of this view, which I call an acquired language of thought (ALOT) since most of the symbols humans use are the words of a natural language, is that the framework for central cognition is constructed during the acquisition of a natural language lexicon.Presentations and Symbols: What Cognition Requires of Representationalism
4. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Perceptual Content Elka Shortsleeve and Kelly Trogdon
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Any adequate account of the content of perceptual experience should meet the following four constraints. First, it should simply tell us what perceptual content is. Second, it should explain why some perceptual states are transparent in a manner no cognitive states are. Third, it should explain – perhaps explain away – the apparent discrepancy between the capacity for richness in representational detail of the content of perceptual states and the relative representational sparseness of the content of cognitive states. Fourth, it should provide intuitively acceptable accuracy conditions for perceptions. Our paper outlines an account of perceptual content that meets these desiderata, in addition to being simple and, we think, intuitively appealing.
5. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Diana I. Pérez The Nonconceptual Contents of our Minds
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The aim of this paper is to review the controversy concerning the nature of nonconceptual content, and its philosophical implications. I will focus the presentation on three topics: (a) the different motivations behind the postulation of nonconceptual content, (b) the arguments for nonconceptual content, and (c) the different characterizations offered of nonconceptual content (and the problem these definitions pose). In the last section of the paper I will mention the presuppositions behind this notion and analyze a couple of paradoxical theses that emerged from this discussion.
6. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Urszula Żegleń From Representation and Identification to Misrepresentation and Misidentification
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The paper advocates the representational approach to the cognitive system. The issue of representation is considered on the example of visual perception – wherein perception is treated as a complex cognitive process whose final stage is perceptual experience with non-conceptual content. A perceiver is not only able to individuate an external object, but to identify it visually as well. In the controversy between conceptualists and non-conceptualists I stand for the moderate position arguing for the claim that in the efficient human cognitive system non-conceptual perceptual representational content is complemented by conceptual one. The problem of misrepresentation in misleading perception is analyzed contextually as the problem of misidentification.
7. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Liza Skidelsky Personal-Subpersonal: The Problems of the Inter-level Relations
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Although the personal-subpersonal distinction was first proposed in 1969 by D. Dennett, it has been approximately in the last ten years that it has received in­creasing attention and has became a widely used distinction particularly in the philosophy of mind and cognitive psychology literature. While the distinction is ubiquitous there are a few recent proposals about the relationship between the levels, namely, inter alia, the mixed horizontal explanation (Bermúdez 2000), the semantic view of computation (Peacocke 1994), and interaction without reduction (Davies 2000a, b). In this paper I will first describe the way of understanding the distinction shared by the proposals aforementioned. Second, I will show some of the difficulties facing each proposal. Finally, I will suggest what I consider are the misleading assumptions that are at the root of the proposed strategies of inter-level relations.
8. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Anne Bezuidenhout VP-Ellipsis and the Case for Representationalism in Semantics
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The debate between representationalists and anti-representationalists in semantics is a debate about whether truth-conditions are or should be assigned directly to natural language sentences (NLSs) – the anti-representationalist view – or whether they are or should be assigned instead to mental representations (MRs) that are related to NLSs in virtue of the fact that the MRs are the output of an interpretive process that has as its input both representations of the lexico-syntactic structure of the NLSs and relevant non-linguistic assumptions that are accessible in the conversational context. I examine some recent work on VP-ellipsis with the aim of showing that discourse level factors play a crucial role in the ellipsis construal process and showing why a syntactic account that requires VP-identity is inadequate. I briefly sketch some views about the mechanisms involved in ellipsis construal. Views that posit operations on representations at the level of discourse structure are best placed to account for the range of evidence presented. Moreover, these accounts support a representationalist conception of natural language semantics, according to which NLSs are not themselves the objects that are assigned a denotational semantics, but rather are vehicles that project partial structures that are the input to inferential processes whose output are structures that can be assigned such a denotational semantics.
on contemporary philosophy and sociology
9. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Nicholas Rescher Science and Reality
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10. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Steven Miller, Marcel Fredericks Mixed Methods and Ontological Commitments
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This article argues that the emerging field of Mixed Methods faces a series of challenges which must be addressed before the area can fulfill its potential. Foremost among these is the lack of attention given to ontological concerns. Specifically, Mixed Methods must examine what ontological commitments are made as the result of employing the range of typologies now discovered. It is argued that Mixed Methods presently lacks a clear conception of how its paradigm is significantly different from non-mixed methodological approaches. It is suggested that Mixed Methods adopt a “weak” minimal realist ontological stance that is rooted in a position called “measured realism.” It is also argued that such a position is required since the present reliance on pragmatism does not sufficiently address ontological concerns. Suggestions are made, by way of an empirical research example, as to plausible ways to handle the issue of ontological commitment.
11. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
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On ProtoSociology
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Published Volumes
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Digital Volumes available
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Bookpublications of the Project
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Cooperations – Announcements
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