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Lunch Seminar: A Third Way to Think About Mental Represetations

26 February @ 12:30 - 13:30

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Next Wednesday, February 26th, Samuel Taylor will again join us, this time with a talk on a third way to think of mental representations. You can find an abstract to his talk below. We will meet from 12.30 to 13.30 in EOS 01.140. In addition, for those who are interested: The Philosophy section of the Faculty of Law also hosts lunch seminars on topics related to justice. These meetings take place on Tuesdays from 12.20 to 13.20. You can contact…
Next Wednesday, February 26th, Samuel Taylor will again join us, this time with a talk on a third way to think of mental representations. You can find an abstract to his talk below. We will meet from 12.30 to 13.30 in EOS 01.140. In addition, for those who are interested: The Philosophy section of the Faculty of Law also hosts lunch seminars on topics related to justice. These meetings take place on Tuesdays from 12.20 to 13.20. You can contact Lukas op de Beke (L.opdeBeke@jur.ru.nl) if you would like to be put on their mailing list. If you like to give a talk at their seminar, you can also send a message to Lukas op de Beke directly. ------------- Abstract: A Third Way to Think About Mental Represetations Representationalists and anti-representationalists disagree about whether a naturalisation of mental content is possible and, hence, whether positing mental representations in cognitive science is justified. Here, I argue that this dispute cannot (yet) be resolved, because the two camps disagree about whether mental content should be naturalised in terms of physical entities or in terms of the entities that play a role in our best science. To circumvent the gridlock, I develop a third way to think about mental representations based on a philosophical description of (cognitive) science inspired by cognitive instrumentalism (Rowbottom, 2011). On this view, acceptance of a theory positing mental representations involves a belief in mental representations only if mental representations can be defined in terms of observable properties. I conclude that this perspective is of value because it differentiates the justification for positing mental representations from the justification for believing in mental representations, and finds that the latter does not depend on the naturalisation of content.

Details

Date:
26 February
Time:
12:30 - 13:30

Venue

Radboud University EOS 01.140
Heyendaalseweg 141
Nijmegen, 6525 AJ Netherlands
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Next Wednesday, February 26th, Samuel Taylor will again join us, this time with a talk on a third way to think of mental representations. You can find an abstract to his talk below.

We will meet from 12.30 to 13.30 in EOS 01.140.

In addition, for those who are interested: The Philosophy section of the Faculty of Law also hosts lunch seminars on topics related to justice. These meetings take place on Tuesdays from 12.20 to 13.20. You can contact Lukas op de Beke (L.opdeBeke@jur.ru.nl) if you would like to be put on their mailing list. If you like to give a talk at their seminar, you can also send a message to Lukas op de Beke directly.

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Abstract: A Third Way to Think About Mental Represetations
Representationalists and anti-representationalists disagree about whether a naturalisation of mental content is possible and, hence, whether positing mental representations in cognitive science is justified. Here, I argue that this dispute cannot (yet) be resolved, because the two camps disagree about whether mental content should be naturalised in terms of physical entities or in terms of the entities that play a role in our best science. To circumvent the gridlock, I develop a third way to think about mental representations based on a philosophical description of (cognitive) science inspired by cognitive instrumentalism (Rowbottom, 2011). On this view, acceptance of a theory positing mental representations involves a belief in mental representations only if mental representations can be defined in terms of observable properties. I conclude that this perspective is of value because it differentiates the justification for positing mental representations from the justification for believing in mental representations, and finds that the latter does not depend on the naturalisation of content.

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The OZSW event calendar lists academic philosophy events organized by/at Dutch universities, and is offered by the OZSW as a service to the research community. Please check the event in question – through their website or organizer – to find out if you could participate and whether registration is required. Obviously we carry no responsibility for non-OZSW events.