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Does Representational Content Arise from Biological Function?

Richard J. Hall
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1990, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1990), pp. 193-199
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192703
Page Count: 7
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Abstract

In virtue of what does a representational state have the content it does? Several philosophers have recently proposed that a representational state gets its content from its biological function. After explaining the sense of biological function used in these views, I criticise the proposal. I argue that biological function only determines representational content up to extensional equivalence. I maintain that this holds even if biological function is defined in terms of an intensional notion like Sober's "selection for".

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