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Mark of the Mental

In Defense of Informational Teleosemantics
Karen Neander(Autor*in)
MIT Press
1. Auflage
Erschienen am 9. Juni 2017
344 Seiten
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978-0-262-33986-5 (ISBN)
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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 first being consciousness). 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 (nonconceptual) representations. Neander draws on insights from state-space semantics (which appeals to relations of second-order similarity between representing and represented domains), causal theories of reference (which claim the reference relation is a causal one), and teleosemantic theories (which claim that semantic norms, at their simplest, depend on functional norms). 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.
  • Intro
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1 Thinking about Thought
  • Brentano's Problem
  • Naturalism, Consciousness, and Intentionality
  • From Informational Content to Representational Content
  • Original versus Derived Intentionality
  • Representations, Targets, and Contents
  • Semantic Evaluations
  • Teleosemantics
  • Overview of What Is to Come
  • 2 Positing Nonconceptual Representations
  • A First Example
  • A Second Example: AH's Visual Deficit
  • The Inference to Normal Perceivers
  • Representational (as Opposed to Informational) Content
  • Intensional Ascriptions
  • The Formality Assumption
  • Sharpening the Methodological Conundrum
  • Semantic Externalism
  • Concluding Remarks
  • 3 Functional Analysis and the Species Design
  • How-Questions and Why-Questions
  • A Division of Explanatory Labor for SE and CR Functions?
  • Minimal and Normal-Proper Functions
  • Questioning Thesis 3
  • Solving the Generalization Problem
  • The Properly Functioning System
  • Is It Idealization?
  • Related Views
  • Concluding Remarks
  • 4 The Methodological Argument for Informational Teleosemantics
  • The Bare-Bones Version
  • Premise 1
  • Premises 2 and 3
  • Premises 4 and 5
  • Premise 6
  • From Methodology to Metaphysics
  • Teleosemantics: The Only Game in Town?
  • Fodor's (Teleosemantic) Asymmetric-Dependency Theory
  • Cummins' (Teleosemantic) Picture Theory
  • Concluding Remarks
  • 5 Simple Minds
  • Why Anuran Perception Is Not a Toy Example
  • Sign-Stimuli and Prey-Capture in a Toad
  • Information Flow in the Neural Substrate
  • The Localization Content
  • What Is Represented?
  • An Attenuated Form of Verificationism?
  • Concluding Remarks
  • 6 Response Functions
  • Starting Teleosemantics at the Right End
  • Functions as Selected Dispositions
  • How Blind Is Natural Selection?
  • Normal Conditions versus Normal Causes
  • Unsuitable Analyses of Information
  • A Simple Causal Analysis of Information
  • Information-Carrying Functions
  • Concluding Remarks
  • 7 The Content-Determinacy Challenges
  • Six Content-Determinacy Challenges
  • The Simple Starter Theory: CT
  • Distinguishing Locally Co-Instantiated Properties
  • Distinguishing Properties Mutually Implicated in Selection
  • A Note on Color Realism
  • Seeing Green versus Seeing Grue
  • Mach Diamonds versus Ordinary Squares
  • Concluding Remarks
  • 8 Causally Driven Analogs
  • Inner Worlds Mirroring Outer Worlds
  • Analog Representations
  • The Second-Order Similarity Rule
  • Traditional Objections to Similarity-Based Content
  • Who Specifies the Isomorphism?
  • The Pictorial Intuition and Color Realism (Again)
  • The Missing Shade of Blue
  • Representing Determinates of Determinables
  • Berkeley's Problem of Abstraction
  • A Neo-Lockean Strategy
  • A Neo-Humean Proposal
  • Concluding Remarks
  • 9 Distal and Distant Red Squares
  • The Problem of Distal Content
  • Informational Asymmetries in Response Functions
  • Other Solutions
  • Perceptual Constancies and Distal Content
  • Hallucinated Red Squares: In the World or Just in the Head?
  • Binding to Spatiotemporal Representation
  • The Systematic Representing of Depth Relations
  • A Few Words on Distal Content and Concepts
  • Summing Up
  • Notes
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • References
  • Index

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