Date of Award

12-10-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrea Scarantino

Second Advisor

Daniel Weiskopf

Abstract

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.

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