Body language: representation in action by Mark Rowlands

By Mark Rowlands

In Body Language, Mark Rowlands argues that the matter of representation—how it really is attainable for one merchandise to symbolize another—has been exacerbated by means of the assimilation of illustration to the class of the note. that's, the matter is frequently understood as one in every of concerning internal to outer—relating an internal representing merchandise to anything extrinsic or external to it. Rowlands argues that no less than a few situations of illustration have to be understood now not by way of the note yet of the deed. job, he claims, is an invaluable template for pondering illustration; our representing the realm is composed, partly, in yes kinds of activities that we practice in that global. this isn't to claim easily that those varieties of appearing can facilitate illustration yet that they're themselves representational. those different types of actions—which Rowlands calls deeds—do no longer in basic terms convey or re-present previous intentional states. they've got an self sufficient representational status.
After introducing the concept of the deed as a "preintentional act," Rowlands argues that deeds can fulfill informational, teleological, combinatorial, misrepresentational, and decouplability constraints—and so qualify as representational. He places those ideas of illustration into perform via reading the deeds excited by visible notion. Representing, Rowlands argues, is anything we do on this planet up to within the head. Representing doesn't cease on the dermis, on the border among the representing topic and the area; representing is representational "all the way in which out."

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Additional info for Body language: representation in action

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Representing the world is something we do in the world as much as in the head. Representing is representational all the way out! This I shall refer to as the thesis of representation in action. 2 Content Externalism 1 Weak and Strong Externalism The idea that action can play at least some role in explaining the nature of representation is one associated with views of the mind that fall under the broad rubric externalism. Externalism, however, takes different forms, and these differences are not only important in themselves but also crucial for our purposes.

According to the assimilation of representation to the word, a representation-token is a concrete, particular, inner configuration, presumably neural, possessing, and perhaps individuated by, higher-order physical or functional properties. This concrete, particular, internal configuration is the bearer, or vehicle, of content. This characterization is, admittedly, vague, and I shall do a lot more work tidying up at the beginning of the next chapter. But it suffices for present purposes. To think about the vehicles of content in this way is to be an internalist about them.

To claim that only the former constitutes genuine information processing seems little more than an internalist prejudice. 9 This book is not the place to rehearse these arguments further. In chapter 5, I shall examine a recent form of vehicle externalism tailored specifically to visual perception. And this may be taken as providing additional arguments for being a vehicle externalist. But, my primary interest in this book is not in establishing the truth of vehicle externalism, but rather in developing a certain conception of representation that coheres with vehicle-externalist principles.

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