Arthropod Intentionality?

Authored by: Andrew Knoll , Georges Rey

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds

Print publication date:  July  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138822887
eBook ISBN: 9781315742250
Adobe ISBN:


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A ubiquitous idiom in cognitive science is:

x represents y

Thus, one reads of the visual system representing edges, surfaces, color and objects; birds representing the stars; bees the azimuth of the sun, and ants the direction of food from their nest. We will presume here that such talk treats the system as in some way mental, involving the puzzling phenomenon of intentionality: representations are about a certain subject matter, and they may be non-factive, non-existential and aspective: i.e., they can be false, represent non-existing things, and usually represent things “as” one way or another, e.g., a four-sided figure as a square or as a diamond. That is, representations have “correctness” (or “veridicality”) conditions which specify when they’re correct and in what way. We will regard those conditions as providing the “content” of the representation. 2

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