Javier Gonzalez de Prado Salas, 12 Dec, 15:30 to 16:30

December 12, 2018

Lisbon Mind & Reasoning RIP Seminar 

Regulation, selection and intentionality

TA 302, Edif Torre A, 3rd Floor

Javier Gonzalez de Prado Salas,

Biological teleology (e.g. biological purposes and functions) is needed if we want to provide a naturalistic account of the goal-directed behavior of biological organisms. The most promising strategy for doing so is to appeal to selected-effects theories of teleology, according to which purposes are effects positively reinforced through selective processes. Most authors have focused on natural selection as the main source of biological teleology. Here, I want to explore an alternative path, by considering instead biological self-regulation, which can be seen as a form of selection widespread in the biological world. I will argue that self-regulation gives rise to a distinctive type of biological teleology, which plays a crucial role in our explanations of the goal-directedness and intentionality of organisms. It is by following goals given to themselves via their self-regulatory mechanisms that organisms can be said to cope intelligently with the world and to make sense of their surroundings. I will examine the relations of this approach to enactivism and teleosemantics. 

All welcome.

Organised by the Lisbon Mind & Reasoning Group (a sub-section of the ArgLab)

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Faculdade de Direito Universidade Nova de Lisboa