What are contentful mental states? Dretske's theory of mental content viewed in the light of robot learning and planning algorithms

Paul Cohen, Mary Litch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

One concern of philosophy of mind is how sensorimotor agents such as human infants can develop contentful mental states. This paper discusses Fred Dretske's theory of mental content in the context of results from our work with mobile robots. We argue that Dretske's theory, while attractive in many ways, relies on a distinction between kinds of representations that cannot be practically maintained when the subject of one's study is robotic agents. In addition, Dretske fails to distinguish classes of representations that carry different kinds of mental content. We conclude with directions for a theory of mental content that maintains the strengths of Dretske's theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence
PublisherAAAI
Pages108-113
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0262511061
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 16th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-99), 11th Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-99) - Orlando, FL, USA
Duration: Jul 18 1999Jul 22 1999

Publication series

NameProceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Other

OtherProceedings of the 1999 16th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-99), 11th Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-99)
CityOrlando, FL, USA
Period7/18/997/22/99

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence

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    Cohen, P., & Litch, M. (1999). What are contentful mental states? Dretske's theory of mental content viewed in the light of robot learning and planning algorithms. In Proceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (pp. 108-113). (Proceedings of the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence). AAAI.