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Why go for a computation-based approach to cognitive representation
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Exzellenzcluster Science of Intelligence & Berlin School of Mind and Brain & Institut für Philosophie, Berlin, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0464-3535
2021 (English)In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 199, no 3-4, p. 6875-6895Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An influential view in (philosophy of) cognitive science is that computation in cognitive systems is semantic, conceptually depending on representation: to compute is to manipulate representations. I argue that accepting the non-semantic teleomechanistic view of computation lays the ground for a promising alternative strategy, in which computation helps to explain and naturalise representation, rather than the other way around. I show that this computation-based approach to representation presents six decisive advantages over the semantic view. I claim that it can improve the two most influential current theories of representation, teleosemantics and structural representation, by providing them with precious tools to tackle some of their main shortcomings. In addition, the computation-based approach opens up interesting new theoretical paths for the project of naturalising representation, in which teleology plays a role in individuating computations, but not representations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2021. Vol. 199, no 3-4, p. 6875-6895
Keywords [en]
Representation in cognitive science, Computation, Mechanism, Teleological functions, Structural representation, Teleosemantics, Indeterminacy of content
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-193491DOI: 10.1007/s11229-021-03097-5ISI: 000627698400001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85102487870OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-193491DiVA, id: diva2:1649715
Funder
German Research Foundation (DFG), EXC 2002/1 - 390523135Available from: 2022-04-04 Created: 2022-04-04 Last updated: 2022-04-06Bibliographically approved

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Coelho Mollo, Dimitri

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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