Can Assertional Practice Explain Representation?

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

One of my main interests is the connection between language and conceptual content. I belong to a class of philosophers who are convinced that there must be an essential connection between the existence of language and the existence of conceptual content.  If language is to explain the existence of conceptual content, however,  then there must be some principled reason for why conceptual content is made possible only with language.

I think the default view on this matter certainly is language has meaning because mental states have content, rather than the other way around. This is not the least made plausible by the unavoidable practice to attribute many of the same sort of attitudes to animals as we do to ourselves.

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Is there a C-object Operator?

August 13, 2010 § 2 Comments

In computer games and similar media we interact with pictorial representations. In reporting this interaction, we are not simply reporting our interaction with representations, but we report what is being done as what is being depicted.  How are we to understand the literal contents of these reports?  More generally, is it useful to think of these setting as imposing an operator the reports of what is normally taken to be depicted? « Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to My Blog!

August 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

It is time to try out the blogging medium as as a tool for doing philosophy. I aim to experiment a little with the format to get a feel for the kind of writing that fits it and how it can be used. Ideally, I feel that it should used a means as a way to formulate some preliminary thoughts on the stuff I am working on, and also as a means to engage my colleagues in discussion.

My main theoretical interest is the relationship between interpretation and meaning, and my approach to various philosophical issues will generally spring from a form of interpretationism.  I’m in the process of exploring a particular species of interpretationism based on the social role of assertion, and hopefully I will post several aspects of this proposal along the way.  As a side interest I am also interested in the relationship between interpretation and interaction in representational media like computer games, and I will also likely post some thoughts about this topic as well.

Obviously, I don’t expect anyone but my colleagues to read my posts, but if you are a visitor from the big Net I would appreciate any comments or tips  you may have on the issues I write about.