David Papineau: The Nature of Representation

David Papineau (King’s College London & CUNY)
4:30-6:30pm Tuesday March 3; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, New York, NY), room 5307.
Title: The Nature of Representation.
Abstract: Teleosemantics analyses representation in terms of evolutionary history. A standard objection is that swampman’s lack of evolutionary history doesn’t stop him representing. I have responded that teleosematics is an a posteriori thesis and so no more threatened by imaginary swampmen than water = H2O is threatened by XYZ. Peter Schulte has retorted that H2O may be the essence of water but evolutionary history isn’t the essence of representation. This talk will argue that, on a proper understanding of natural kinds, a posteriori essences, functional kinds, and representation, evolutionary history is indeed the essence of representation.
There will be dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered.) If you have any other questions, please email denise.dykstra@rutgers.edu.

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