The Problem Of Partionality And The Representational Theory Of Mind

1346 Words 6 Pages
What will you think about when I am mentioning about a car? Perhaps a picture of a car will be immediately appearing in your mind. Have you ever thought about the causation of this kind of phenomenon? Does it have something to do with our brain structure? In this paper, I will illustrate the relations between the “representational theory of mind” and the problem of intentionality and examine how the former term help to address the latter.

I will begin by defining the meaning of intentionality. In a broad sense, intentionality can be defined as the "aboutness" or "directedness" of one 's mental states or acts. It is the referential character of these states or acts insofar as they intend or refer to something (mediawiki, 2014). As human beings,
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First of all, let me clarify what a mental representation is. In Barbara Von Eckardt’s words, it is a representation whose representation-bearer, content, significance, and ground are appropriate to its being a representation in the mind/brain (Eckardt, 2012). Here, representation- bearer is referring to the material or formal properties of an object. For example, the representation bearer of word token ‘flower’ is either a set of ink marks on paper or a set of pixels on a monitor screen. The representation theory of mind suggests that there are relations between intentional mental states and mental representations, and explains the intentionality of the former in terms of the semantic properties of the latter. (Pitt, 2012) Moreover, the mental processes like thinking, imagining and reasoning are sequences of intentional mental states which is understood by the representational theory of mind. To deduce a proposition q from the proposition p is to have a series of thoughts of the from p, if p then q, q. Another interesting point that should be pointed out quoting from ‘The Mechanical Mind’ written by Crane Tim is that mind could be seen as a causal mechanism, a natural part of natural organisms which functions in a systematic, regular way. The mind is a kind of natural machine or mechanism. Representation is considered a problem because it is hard to understand how a mere mechanism or machine can …show more content…
These symbols make up what Fodor calls a ‘Language of Thought’, a biologically fixed code analogous to the ‘machine code’ hard- wired into an ordinary computing machine. Your forming a belief that the window is open is a matter of a sentence in the Language of Thought corresponding to the English sentence ‘The window is open’, acquiring an appropriate functional role. John states perhaps that our brain works as similar as a semantic engine, which is a device that performs symbolic operations – manipulates symbols – in a way that reflects semantic relations holding among these symbols, but does so exclusively by means of formal and syntactic principles – that is, without regard to the meanings of those symbols. minds process mental representations, without having to suppose that minds contain components that understand the meanings of those

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