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Why go for a computation-based approach to cognitive representation

Coelho Mollo, Dimitri (2020) Why go for a computation-based approach to cognitive representation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The traditional view in (philosophy of) cognitive science is that computation in cognitive systems conceptually depends 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 traditional 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.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Coelho Mollo, Dimitridimitricmollo@gmail.com0000-0002-0464-3535
Additional Information: Pre-peer review preprint of an article forthcoming in Synthese
Keywords: representation in cognitive science; computation; mechanism; teleological functions; teleosemantics; structural representation; indeterminacy of content
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Computation
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr. Dimitri Coelho Mollo
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2021 16:21
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2021 16:21
Item ID: 18735
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Cognitive Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Computation
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18735

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