Marc Artiga: "Structural Representations and Receptors"

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng2-0025
  • Organiser: The Department of Philosophy
  • Contact person: Sharon Rider
  • Seminarium

Marc Artiga, Universitat de València: "Structural Representations and Receptors"

Despite the fact that the notion of ‘representation’ remains controversial, there is an emerging consensus that brain states that merely correlate with some specific cues and reliably trigger an effect (called ‘receptors’) do not play a genuine representational role. In contrast, structural representations (e.g. cognitive maps) are mechanisms that exploit the relationships between internal states in order to learn about some target phenomenon, and they are usually classified as paradigm instances of representational states. The goal of my talk is to criticize the two main claims of this widespread view. First of all, I will defend that receptors clearly fulfil the theoretical role that representational states are supposed to play and I will argue that the arguments for resisting a liberal attribution are wanting. Secondly, I will defend that the notion of structural representation is either too narrow or too broad for drawing a useful distinction between representations and non-representations.