By Mark Rowlands
In Body Language, Mark Rowlands argues that the matter of representation—how it's attainable for one merchandise to symbolize another—has been exacerbated through the assimilation of illustration to the class of the be aware. that's, the matter is regularly understood as one in every of concerning internal to outer—relating an internal representing merchandise to whatever extrinsic or external to it. Rowlands argues that at the least a few circumstances of illustration must be understood now not by way of the note yet of the deed. task, he claims, is an invaluable template for wondering illustration; our representing the area is composed, partially, in yes varieties of activities that we practice in that global. this isn't to claim easily that those kinds of performing can facilitate illustration yet that they're themselves representational. those forms of actions—which Rowlands calls deeds—do no longer basically show or re-present earlier intentional states. they've got an autonomous representational status.
After introducing the inspiration 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 belief. Representing, Rowlands argues, is whatever we do on the earth up to within the head. Representing doesn't cease on the epidermis, 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
Thus, according to SR-externalism, not only does content in general not stop short of the world, there is no component of content that does. According to this view, mental content is not an internal item that, when true, somehow corresponds to, or reflects, a worldly counterpart. True mental content is identical with worldly facts; it does not correspond to them. Therefore, a fortiori, it is not about something that is exterior to it. Worldly facts are not exterior to mental content; they are identical with it.
The first way of thinking about vehicles follows through on the analogy with sentences, and understands vehicles of content as bearers of content. Thus, vehicles of content are mental representations, and what determines whether these are representations will, of course, depend on one’s preferred view of representation. Suppose, for example, one endorses some form of teleological account. 2 Let’s work, for simplicity’s sake, with a straightforward stimulus-based account. Suppose, for example, that mechanism M, goes into state S, in the presence of environmental feature F.
The first way of thinking about vehicles is based on the idea that whatever else vehicles are, they are bearers of content. So a vehicle is, in the first instance, a vehicle of content. There is, however, another way of using the term that bears no direct or essential connection to content. The relevant distinction, here, is not between vehicle and content, but between state and process. The above conception of a vehicle sees it as primarily a state— one that has a token-explanatory role in accounting for why a token content, and thus why a token mental state, should obtain.
Body language: representation in action by Mark Rowlands