BIOSEMANTICS. C ausal or informational theories of the . BIOSEMANTICS. senting (indicating RUTH GARRETT MILLIKAN. University of Connecticut/. The term ‘biosemantics’ has usually been applied only to the theory of mental Ruth Garrett Millikan is Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy. Millikan: Biosemantics. Martín Abreu Zavaleta. June 18, 1 False representations. Millikan, like Dretske, Chisholm and Brentano, thinks that what.
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Asking how to alter the crude causal theory to allow for error is one place to begin looking for a more adequate proposal. A theory of content aims among other things to tell us why this representation has that content; it aims to say why it is a thought about blossoms forming rather than about the sun shining or pigs flying or nothing at all.
But in nature nothing so intricately organized as if for the performance of a function fails to be the result of a design process. The claim that misrepresentation is impossible without learning anyway seems problematic, since it seems to preclude representations produced by innate input systems, such as innate sensory-perceptual systems. In the case of the frog’s detection device, its responding to small, dark, moving things and its helping the frog to catch and swallow something nutritious both played a causal role in selection of the relevant representation producing or consuming systems.
Supplementing Teleosemantics with an Input Condition. Journal of Millikn 86 July: Problems for Teleosemantics The preceding survey of millukan theories of content does not mention all of the extant teleological theories but it illustrates some of the commonalities and differences among them. On this informational theory, the frog does not miloikan the stimulus as not carrying an infectious disease, even if only those small, dark and moving things that were not carrying an infectious disease contributed to frog fitness when the frog was fed.
What is the Physical? However, it adverts to background knowledge and, since knowledge is intentional, this aspect of it biosemantlcs omitted in his theory of content, at least as it applies to the simplest kinds of mental representations. There are at least three things involved. Papineau maintains that content is indeterminate in the case of a creatures that lacks a belief-desire psychological structure. There is no need to specify channel conditions or conditions biosejantics which representation is reliable.
Ruth Millikan – Wikipedia
Consider a mental representation of a cat. Dretske appears to rely on an etiological analysis of functions see e. Hence, where and while recruitment continues, R s cannot occur without C s. Sellars left for the University of Pittsburgh midway through Millikan’s doctorate, she stayed at Yale and earned her PhD in Fodor once devised a teleological theory of mental content published years later, as Fodor a.
As noted millikxn the previous section, a crucial feature of content is that it legitimates semantic evaluations.
Sign in to annotate. On some plausible and medium-grained theories of property individuation, properties are individuated by their causal powers, so if there is no difference in the causal powers of F and Gthey biodemantics the same property on such a theory. Both forms of functionalism also permit multiple physical realizability of traits that perform the same functions. An alternative millikaj is that the isomorphism does not need to be specified given that the targets of representations are determined by teleological functions.
Sign in to use this feature. However, teleological theories of content do not merely gesture toward functions and leave it at that. How do mental representations retain or obtain their contents outside of perceptual contexts?
Such theories presuppose that there are representations with content, whereas teleological theories of mental content try to biossmantics the nature of intentionality at its most fundamental; they aim to say bisoemantics we can, to begin with, have any representations with content. Fodor’s example is the frog that snaps at anything that is suitably small, dark and moving and thereby feeds itself.
Since the relevant resemblances are relational, there is no requirement that representations share properties other than abstract relational properties with their representeds.
It is plausible that sensory-perceptual systems have the function to produce representations that carry information and that this bears on their content.
Biosemantics – Oxford Handbooks
This contrasts with Papineau’s theory, which most directly applies to propositional attitudes. Some psychologists also claim that some core concepts are innate e.
Or, more generally, in virtue of what does any representation have the content that it has? For example, a gene in an antelope might have been selected because it i altered the shape of hemoglobin, ii which increased oxygen uptake, iii which allowed the antelope to move to higher ground, iv which gave them access to richer pasture in summer, v and so improved their nutritional status, their immunity to disease, bioswmantics vigor in avoiding predation, blosemantics attraction to mates and vi their chances of survival and reproduction Neander, Thanks to David Chalmers and Georges Rey for penetrating comments.
Second is the question of target determination: So, most teleological theories of mental content do not entail that, if Bill thinks that Mavis knows that today is Tuesday then Bill must be thinking about the teleological functions of Mavis’s representation producing or using systems.
Frequently these theories have been classified as either picture theories, causal or covariation theories, information theories, functionalist or causal-role theories, or teleological theories, the assumption being that these various categories are side by side with one another. This re-raises the question of how representations produced by innate input analyzers have distal content. See Papineau for a response.
Teleological Theories of Mental Content
Otherwise you would not try to walk to the chair and sit on it. It has been argued that Millikan’s theory has the unintended consequence that the frog’s representation has the content food that is not infected, when no crow is standing by … etc.
Papineau speaks of learning and Dretske invokes functions that depend on recruitment by conditioning.