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Is Representation Rife?

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Is Representation Rife?

This paper applies a teleosemantic perspective to the question of whether there is genuine representation outside the familar realm of belief-desire psychology. I first explain how teleosemantics accounts for the representational powers of beliefs and desires themselves. I then ask whether biological states which are simpler than belief and desires can also have representational powers. My conclusion is that such biologically simple states can be ascribed representational contents, but only in a system-relative way: such states must be ascribed varying contents when viewed as components in different biological systems. I conclude by arguing that 'the genetic code' does not even embody this kind of system-relative representation.Article

Papineau, David (2003) Is Representation Rife?

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Citation: Ratio (2003) 16: 107-123.
Subjects: Philosophy
Keywords: Representation, Teleosemantics
Divisions: Institute of Philosophy
Collections: London Philosophy Papers
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