Naturalising Representational Content

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Abstract

This paper sets out a view about the explanatory role of representational content and advocates one approach to naturalising content – to giving a naturalistic account of what makes an entity a representation and in virtue of what it has the content it does. It argues for pluralism about the metaphysics of content and suggests that a good strategy is to ask the content question with respect to a variety of predictively successful information processing models in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience; and hence that data from psychology and cognitive neuroscience should play a greater role in theorising about the nature of content. Finally, the contours of the view are illustrated by drawing out and defending a surprising consequence: that individuation of vehicles of content is partly externalist.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberN/A
Pages (from-to)496-509
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophy Compass
Volume8
Issue number5
Early online date27 Mar 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Keywords

  • representational content
  • theories of content
  • naturalism
  • meta-semantics

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