Institut Jean Nicod

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Professional activity: teacher of philosophy in the "Academie de Rouen". Teaching of philosophy at the University of Rouen (2007-2009)

Abstract of the doctoral Thesis (for french version see below):

The subject of this thesis is the naturalizing project of intentionality, i.e. a theory of meaning expressible in natural sciences predicates. Part I expose the functionalist program in the 1960’ and its calling into question during the 1970’ by the development of cognitive sciences and indexicality problem (Kripke 1971, Putnam 1975). Part II is devoted to the alternative strategies developed since the beginning of the 1980’. In one hand : the “information semantics”, i.e. a nomic grounded semantics initiated by Fred Dretske (followed by Jerry Fodor). On the other hand: the “teleosemantics” of Ruth G. Millikan (followed by David Papineau) which seeks to found the theory of cognition on evolutionary constraints. Part III proceeds to a “semeiotic turn” by analyzing the logical and metaphysical theory of signs of Charles S. Peirce (1845-1914), one of the most prominent sources of Millikan’s thesis. Indeed, Peirce’s conception of cognition as an inferential process grounded in iconic signs is the very way of a naturalistic theory of symbols which symmetrically avoids the metaphysical prejudices of computational cognitivism and psychologism. Then Part IV try to sketch out the project of an ecological theory of mind based on the concept of a multi-functional intentional sign (a sign of which the inferential function of self-control is not reducible to the simpler behavioural functions). In this part we argue in favour of a new behavioural concept : the “Image”. A last development concerning the indexicality problem tends to prove that the matter consists in an adequate description of the relations between iconic and indexical functions in the sign, by which it is possible to understand the specificity of syntactical and conventional systems of expression.