Representation, evolution and embodiment

Anderson, Dr. Michael L. (2005) Representation, evolution and embodiment. [Journal (Paginated)] (In Press)

Full text available as:



As part of the ongoing attempt to fully naturalize the concept of human being--and, more specifically, to re-center it around the notion of agency--this essay discusses an approach to defining the content of representations in terms ultimately derived from their central, evolved function of providing guidance for action. This 'guidance theory' of representation is discussed in the context of, and evaluated with respect to, two other biologically inspired theories of representation: Dan Lloyd's dialectical theory of representation and Ruth Millikan's biosemantics.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:action, intentionality, evolution, representation, mental content
Subjects:Biology > Animal Cognition
Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:3947
Deposited By: Anderson, Dr. Michael
Deposited On:20 Nov 2004
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:55

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Anderson, M. L. 2003a. Embodied cognition: A field guide. Artificial Intelligence 149(1): 91-130.

Anderson, M. L. 2003b. Representations, symbols, and embodiment. Artificial Intelligence 149(1): 151-6.

Anderson, M. L. forthcoming. Cognitive science and epistemic openness. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Bickhard, M. H. 1993. Representational content in humans and machines. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, 5, 285-333.

Bickhard, M. H. 1999. Interaction and representation. Theory & Psychology, 9(4), 435-458.

Block, N. 1986. Advertisement for a semantics for psychology. In: P. French, T. Uehling and H. Wettstein, eds. Midwest Studies in Philosophy X: 615-678. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Chrisley, R. 1995. Non-conceptual content and robotics: Taking embodiment seriously. In: K. Ford, C. Glymour, and P. Hayes (eds) Android Epistemology. Cambridge, MA: AAAI/MIT Press, pp. 141-66.

Deban, S. M., O’Reilly, J. C. and Nishikawa, K. C. 2001. The evolution of the motor control of feeding in amphibians. Amer. Zool. 41: 1280-1298.

Dretske, F. 1981. Knowledge and the flow of information. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.

Dretske, F. 1986. Misrepresentation. In: R. Bogdan, ed. Belief: Form, Content, and Function. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dretske, F. 1988. Explaining behavior. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Fodor, J. 1981. Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Fodor, J. 1987. Psychosemantics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Franklin, S. 1995. Artificial Minds. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gibson, J.J. 1966. The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Gibson, J.J. 1977. On the analysis of change in the optic array in cotemporary research in visual space and motion perception. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 18: 161-3.

Harman, G. 1982. Conceptual role semantics. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 23, 242-56.

Harman, G. 1987. (Nonsolopsistic) conceptual role semantics. In E. LePore (Ed.), Semantics of Natural Language. New York, Academic Press.

Ingle, D. J. 1973. Two visual systems in the frog. Science 181: 1053-55.

Ingle, D. J. 1980. Some effects of pretectum lesions on the frog’s detection of stationary objects. Behavioural Brain Research 1:139-63

Ingle, D. J. 1982. Organization of visuomotor behaviors in vertebrates. In D. J. Ingle, M. A. Goodale, and R. J. W. Mansfield, eds., Analysis of visual behavior, MIT Press.

Lettvin, J., Maturana, H., McCulloch, W., and Pitts, W. 1959. What the frog’s eye tells the frog’s brain. Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, 47: 1940-1951.

Lloyd, D. 1989. Simple Minds. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Millikan, R. G. 1984. Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Millikan, R. G. 1993. White Queen Psychology and Other Essays for Alice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Newell, A. and Simon, H. A. 1976. Computer science as empirical enquiry. Communications of the ACM, 19:113-126.

O’Donovan-Anderson, M. 1996. Wittgenstein and Rousseau on the context of justification. Philosophy and Social Criticism 22: 75-92.

Rosenberg, G. and Anderson, M.L. 2004. A brief introduction to the guidance theory of representation. Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.

Rosenberg, G. and Anderson, M.L. forthcoming. Content and action: The guidance theory of representation.

Sandel, M. 1997. Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, 2ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schmitt, R. 1995. Beyond Separateness: The Social Nature of Human Beings—Their Autonomy Knowledge and Power. Boulder, CO: Wesview Press.

Taylor, C. 1989. Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Varela, F. J., Thompson, E. and Rosch E. 1991. The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

White, S. 1982. Partial character and the language of thought. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 63: 347-65


Repository Staff Only: item control page