SOPhiA 2017

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programme - Talk

The constancy mechanism proposal for the Limits of Intentionality
(Philosophy of Mind, English)

Naturalist theories of intentionality like teleosemantics and informational semantics are often criticized of being too liberal about the requirements for a given state to constitute a representation -- they treat certain states as representations when they are clearly not representational. But what is the lower border of intentionality that distinguishes the limiting cases of representational states from non-representational ones? In order to solve this problem, it is necessary to establish conditions for minimal intentionality -- those conditions satisfied by the most primitive representational states. Kim Sterelny and Tyler Burge have proposed that the employment of constancy mechanisms constitutes a minimal condition for intentionality. My goal on this presentation is to attack the viability of the constancy mechanism proposal. The objection starts with the demonstration that this proposal is implicitly committed with the thesis that there are no distal content representations, only proximal content ones. As a consequence, its viability depends upon the establishment of a minimal distance between the represented external feature and the organism's sensorial apparatus. However, the fact that the distinction between proximal and distal features is not clear cut, but rather comes in degree, constitutes a real challenge for the establishment of such minimal distance. My conclusion is that the constancy mechanism proposal is not capable of establishing the minimal distance between the represented external feature and the organism's sensorial apparatus and hence that its viability is doomed.

Chair: Franz Altner
Time: 10:00-10:30, 15 September 2017 (Friday)
Location: SR 1.004
Remark: CHANGE. The talk is cancelled!

Sergio De Souza Filho 
(King's College London, United Kingdom)

Brazilian PhD candidate at the Department of Philosophy, King's College London. My PhD research is on the problem of mental content and representation and in my thesis I am developing a variation of a teleological theory of content under the supervision of Prof. David Papineau.
Master in Philosophy (MPhill) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. B.A. in Philosohy at the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil.
Areas os specializaition: Philosophy of Mind (intentionality, theories of mental content and representation), Philosophy of Language (rule-following, normativity of meaning) and Metaphysics.

Testability and Meaning deco