Studies in Cognitive Systems

Conceptual Flux

Mental Representation, Misrepresentation, and Concept Change

Authors: Perlman, M.

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About this book

How can one think about a thing, think something false about it, and still be thinking about that thing at all? If a concept is applied to something outside its meaning, how are we to say it does not mean that thing as well? The problem of misrepresentation is one of the central issues in contemporary philosophy of mind. Here, Mark Perlman criticizes the way all contemporary theories of mental representation seek to account for misrepresentation, concluding that it cannot be explained naturistically. Specifically, Perlman evaluates and criticizes the theories of mental content proposed by Fodor, Dretske, Millikan, Block, Harman and others, as well as examining verificationist approaches to meaning of Quine, Davidson and Stich.
The book goes much further than criticism, however: Perlman formulates a naturalistic theory of representation that reluctantly accepts the unfortunate conclusion that there is no misrepresentation. He adds a pragmatic theory of content, which explains apparent misrepresentation as concept change. Mental representations can be good or bad in specific contexts and for specific purposes, but their correctness is not a matter of truth and falsity. The pragmatic approach to mental content has implications for epistemology, theories of truth, metaphysics, psychology, and AI (specifically connectionist networks).
Readership: One of the most thorough examinations of mental representation and meaning holism available, this book should be read by everyone interested in the mind and how ideas can have meaning. It crosses boundaries from philosophy into psychology, linguistics, AI and cognitive science.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Groundwork and Overview of the Project

    Perlman, Mark

    Pages 1-50

  • Verificationism and its Failure to Allow for Error and Misrepresentation

    Perlman, Mark

    Pages 51-88

  • Cognitive Science and the Failure to Allow for Error and Misrepresentation

    Perlman, Mark

    Pages 89-149

  • Content without Misrepresentation: A Pragmatic Theory

    Perlman, Mark

    Pages 151-206

  • Objections and Replies

    Perlman, Mark

    Pages 207-252

Buy this book

eBook $209.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-015-9462-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-7923-6215-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-5415-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Conceptual Flux
Book Subtitle
Mental Representation, Misrepresentation, and Concept Change
Authors
Series Title
Studies in Cognitive Systems
Series Volume
24
Copyright
2000
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-94-015-9462-2
DOI
10.1007/978-94-015-9462-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-7923-6215-9
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-5415-9
Series ISSN
0924-0780
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXIV, 438
Topics