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Becoming Human"The Ontogenesis, Metaphysics, and Expression of Human Emotionality"$
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Jennifer Greenwood

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029780

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029780.001.0001

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From Evolution to Emotionese

From Evolution to Emotionese

(p.139) 6 From Evolution to Emotionese
Becoming Human

Jennifer Greenwood

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on intentionality, specifically, on how mental states acquire their intentional contents (their ‘aboutness’). In previous chapters it was noted that the affect expressions and STBPs of human neonates are interpreted as or function as assistance/attention soliciting devices by preadapted caregivers. Given this, the chapter focuses on theories of function and biosemantics (a naturalistic theory of intentionality). Both theories adopted are due to Millikan (1984, 2004); the first relates to Proper Function and, the second, to natural, intentional and linguistic signs. Her theory explains how one sign type can emerge from another through a bootstrapping process. The analyses demonstrate that representations are defined by the way they function, not just in the head, but in wider cognitive systems which include representation-producing devices, objects in the environment and representation-consuming devices.

Keywords:   Proper function, Biosemantics, Intentional signs

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