Functions in Mind: A Theory of Intentional Content

Hardcover | July 15, 2001

byCarolyn Price

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Carolyn Price investigates what it means to say that mental states -- thoughts, wishes, perceptual experiences, and so on -- are about things in the world. Her answer to this deep philosophical problem is a novel teleological account of intentional content, grounded in and shaped by acarefully constructed theory of functions. Price's teleological account centres on the claim that the content of an intentional state depends both on the information that it is supposed to carry and on the way in which it is used -- whether to trigger a simple response, to help keep track of anobject or place, to help in planning a route through the environment, or in a sophisticated process of reasoning. Along the way she defends her view from recent objections to teleological theories, and indicates how it might be applied to some notable problems in the philosophy of mind.Functions inMind is an adventurous comtribution to the project of bringing together philosophy and biology in order to understand the mind as part of the natural world.

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Carolyn Price investigates what it means to say that mental states -- thoughts, wishes, perceptual experiences, and so on -- are about things in the world. Her answer to this deep philosophical problem is a novel teleological account of intentional content, grounded in and shaped by acarefully constructed theory of functions. Price's t...

Carolyn Price is at The Open University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:274 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.75 inPublished:July 15, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199242003

ISBN - 13:9780199242009

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Nature and FunctionI: A Theory of Functions1. Explanation and Normativity2. The Core Account3. Determinate FunctionsII: Special-Purpose Systems4. Minimal Intentionality5. Minimal Truth?6. Learning and Wanting7. Keeping Track8. Making Maps and Forming PlansIII: General-Purpose Systems9. General-Purpose Intentionality10. General-Purpose Content11. Utility and TruthConclusion: Foundations for Content, Appendix, References