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Title: Naturalising intentionality : a teleological approach
Author: Farias De Souza Filho, Sergio
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 5470
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis develops a teleological theory of mental representation to naturalise intentionality. Teleosemantics explains mental representation in terms of biological functions. The thesis addresses a number of foundational problems that threats the viability of teleosemantics. The first chapter, “The metaphysics of mental representation”, develops a basic conception of mental representation that is designed to satisfy certain intuitive requirements (misrepresentation and original intentionality) and methodological requirements (explanatory power and ontological parsimony). The second chapter, “Naturalising intentionality”, defends the thesis that mental representation is naturalistically reducible and in particular that it should be explained teleosemantically. After that, it addresses some of Tyler Burge’s objections to reductionist naturalism in general and teleosemantics in particular. The third chapter, “The minimal conditions for intentionality: the problem of demarcation”, considers the problem of demarcating the limits of intentionality and the objection that teleosemantics and other naturalist theories are too liberal. It adopts the method of reflective equilibrium to develop minimal conditions for intentionality based on mutual adjustments between intuitive and explanatory constraints. Finally, it rejects alternative proposals for demarcating intentionality in terms of causal independence or constancy mechanisms. The fourth chapter, “The minimal conditions for intentionality: the dual proposal”, develops a specific solution to the problem of demarcation – the dual proposal for the minimal conditions for intentionality. The fifth chapter, “The content problem: in defence of producer-based teleosemantics”, defends a producer-based version of teleosemantics and proposes solutions for functional indeterminacy problems facing teleosemantics.
Supervisor: Papineau, David Calder ; Soteriou, Matthew John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available