Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Dretske, Fred
 
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Representation Pau I Michael Pauen Grundprobleme der Philosophie des Geistes Frankfurt/M. 2001

Pau I 230
Meaning/Naturalization/mental representation/Dretske/Pauen: (Dretske 1994,1995): tries like Fodor to explain the emergence of meaning in a purely naturalistic manner.
However, this also extends to non-human creatures. Four aspects:
1. Causal relation between object and representation
2. Function of representation for the organism
3. Development history of acquiring
4. Possibility of change.

Sign/Meaning/Causality/Dretske/Pauen: (ad 1.) a pure causal relation can only produce a natural sign ("sign/indication"). The normative moment has no place here.

ad 2. The normative distinction between the right and the wrong of the mental representation comes into play when a device or an organ receives the function of displaying another state of affairs.

ad 3. E.g. Magnetotactic bacteria are looking for deeper, oxygen-deficient water layers.
If these bacteria were transported to the northern hemisphere, they would seek flatter, more oxygen-rich water layers!
Here it would remain unclear what exactly the object of the representation is: is it the magnetic fields or the oxygen concentration?
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I 232
Dretske: admits that this is hard to decide here.
Solution: most organisms have several approaches to a state of affairs.
If a representation occurs in the normal case in the presence of an enemy, one can speak of a representation of the enemy.

ad 4. It seems possible that the objection, not the enemy, but the disjunction of all stimuli, is the object of the representation. E.g. smell or silhouette, or sound.
Here the learning ability is important. Higher living beings can learn new stimuli here, with which even a complete old disjunction might be absent.
Thus the disjunction is also not considered as a representation.
VsDretske/Pauen: a causally determined sun burn is nevertheless not a representation of the sun.
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I 233
Stomach upsets are no representation of spoiled food.
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Schifer I 46
Representation/FG/fuel gauge/Petrol/Dretske/Terminology/Schiffer: (Dretske 1986): "fuel gauge model of representation: it represents the fuel status because it is a reliable indicator for it. ((s) By regularity to the representation. Additional assumption: Contrafactic conditional).
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Joelle Proust Das intentionale Tier in D. Perler/M. Wild (Hg) Der Geist der Tiere Frankfurt/M. 2005

I 225
Mental representation/Dretske/Proust: 1. Covariance between internal condition and external situation ("Indication".)
2. The internal indicator has the function to display the external situation. Then it represents them.
3. Representations can be true or false.

Dret I
F. Dretske
Naturalizing the Mind Cambridge 1997


> Counter arguments against Dretske
> Counter arguments in relation to Representation



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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-03-24