DRETSKE MISREPRESENTATION PDF

His dissertation, supervised by May Brodbeck , was on the philosophy of time. His later work centered on conscious experience and self-knowledge, and he was awarded the Jean Nicod Prize in According to the theory presented in Seeing and Knowing, for a subject S to be able to see that an object b has property P is: i for b to be P ii for S to see b iii for the conditions under which S sees b to be such that b would not look the way it now looks to S unless it were P and iv for S, believing that conditions are as described in iii , to take b to be P. Dretske had become convinced that information theory was required to make sense of knowledge and also belief.

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Misrepresentation occurs, for example, when we look at a straight stick in a glass of water and see it as bent. In order for our visual experience to misrepresent the stick, it must represent the stick, but it must represent the stick as other than it is, as bent rather than straight. To account for misrepresentation, an adequate theory of representation must therefore explain how our sensory experience can represent an object as other than it is.

Many philosophers have offered accounts of representation according to which sense experience cannot or at least does not misrepresent the world in optimal conditions or even in normal conditions. In optimal conditions our visual experiences represent physical objects as colored. Descartes maintains that this too counts as misrepresentation , on the ground that color is not a property of physical objects.

See "Misrepresentation," in Belief, ed. For only if a system has [the capacity for misrepresentation] does it have, in its power to get things right, something approximating meaning" Explaining Behavior, Descartes, in contrast, is not trying to provide an account of meaning, nor is there evidence that he holds any beliefs about the relation between meaning and the capacity for misrepresentation.

What his purposes are in discussing misrepresentation is a matter of dispute to be examined below. So, for example, the idea of cold represents cold to me as something real and positive. But if cold is a privation of heat, then the idea of cold is materially false, since it represents a privation a non-thing as a thing as something real and positive AT VII ; CSM II 3o.

Material falsity is thus a kind of misrepresentation: to be materially false, at least as it is characterized in the Third Meditation, is to represent a non-thing as if it were a thing.

But it is an especially troubling kind of misrepresentation. In her book on Descartes, Margaret Wilson alleges that the concept of material falsity is both a red herring and an embarrassment in the context in which it is presented in the Third Meditation.

Hc discusses it not only in the Third Meditation, but also in the Objections and Replies and in the Principles. I will argue that, contrary to her reading, Dcscartcs does not believe that our ideas of light, colors Access options available:.

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Misrepresenting Dretske

However, instead of resorting to an appeal to neuroscience, he is trying to make precise even sort of mathematical definitions of intentional phenomena such as representation. He tends to direct his abstract discussions with very colorful and concrete examples. Previously, Dretske in Knowledge and the Flow of Information wants to use information-theoretic concepts to show how mental concepts like "belief" flow from information-bearing which he strongly correlates with truth-bearing objects. However - this leads him to a crucial weakness in his argument - if meaning is natural and derived from truth-bearing information, how can meaning be false? Dretske is not interested in how a particular representational system can misrepresent, since these systems are all derived from our original representational capacity. Natural Meaning Dretske first considers natural meaning.

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Dretske - Misrepresentation

Misrepresentation occurs, for example, when we look at a straight stick in a glass of water and see it as bent. In order for our visual experience to misrepresent the stick, it must represent the stick, but it must represent the stick as other than it is, as bent rather than straight. To account for misrepresentation, an adequate theory of representation must therefore explain how our sensory experience can represent an object as other than it is. Many philosophers have offered accounts of representation according to which sense experience cannot or at least does not misrepresent the world in optimal conditions or even in normal conditions.

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Fred Dretske

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