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Conference Papers Year : 2023

Foundations for a Realist Ontology of Mental Representation

Abstract

Mental representation remains nebulous, notwithstanding its importance for the understanding of various cognitive phenomena. In this paper we outline a project to articulate a foundation for an ontology of mental representation from the realist perspective. We propose that the philosopher J. R. G. Williams's three-layered naturalistic metaphysics of representation can serve as a theoretical basis for a realist ontology of mental representation. To illustrate this proposal, we examine his contention that functions are a non-representational basis for representation, from the viewpoint of the etiological and dispositional theory of functions that is developed in the realist upper ontology Basic Formal Ontology (BFO). We argue that functions that underline representation may not be etiological (and thus not functions in BFO) and that discussion on whether they can be still characterized as dispositions in BFO leads to specifying a challenge from misrepresentation to a function-centered approach to representation.
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hal-04301538 , version 1 (23-11-2023)

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Fumiaki Toyoshima, Adrien Barton. Foundations for a Realist Ontology of Mental Representation. Cognition and Ontologies (CAOS VII) 9th Joint Ontology Workshops (JOWO 2023), co-located with FOIS 2023, Jul 2023, Sherbrooke, Canada. à paraître. ⟨hal-04301538⟩
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