Biological Approaches To Mental Representation

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Book Section

As per Brentano, one cannot have any mental attitude towards a thing unless it is present in one's mind. One cannot hope, doubt, taste, believe, or remember that thing unless the thing and its characteristics are present in mind. Teleosemantic theories are diverse range of answers on how do minds and brains represent things and what is these reference to these contents? But each teleosemantic theory maintains that the answer involves a normative and teleological notion of function, or in other words a notion of function that underwrites talk of malfunction and that is construed as a notion of what traits or items are for. There are a number of different teleological theories of mental content. Certainly there is a specific normative notion of function that underwrites certain normative notion of content. Content is said to be normative because some mental states that have content may represent correctly or may also misrepresent. Teleological theories of mental content, like others, attempt to provide naturalistic theories of mental content. According to Ontological Behaviorism, mental terms have a behavioral analysis. The first analysis is that mental states cannot be reduced to brain states because mental states are multiply realizable and second analysis is that mental states can be characterized in terms of their functional role. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Neander, K

Published Date

  • December 1, 2007

Book Title

  • Philosophy of Biology

Start / End Page

  • 549 - 565

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780444515438

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/B978-044451543-8/50025-3

Citation Source

  • Scopus