Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Neander (2017) presents a causal version of informational teleosemantics (CT), where a non-conceptual state R has the content F if and only if R has the function of being caused by F. In contrast, probabilistic versions of informational teleosemantics (PT) claim that R has the content F if and only if R has the function of covarying with F. These two theories ascribe different contents to representational states since PT allows R to have the content F when R non-causally covaries with F. First, I argue that CT is incapable of serving one of the main explanatory aims of a theory of content, which is to fully explain behavior. Second, I defend PT against the charge of indeterminacy, arguing that when PT ascribes multiple contents, these contents serve distinct explanatory aims.
Collier, Asa, "Seeing Past Causes: Causation and Covariation in Informational Teleosemantics." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2018.