Institut Jean Nicod

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Myrto Mylopoulos (Institut Jean-Nicod)


Vendredi 13 mars 2015 de 11h30 à 13h

Institut Jean-Nicod, Pavillon Jardin, Ecole normale supérieure, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris. Salle de réunion, RDC.

Myrto Mylopoulos (Institut Jean-Nicod),

Intentions and Pragmatic Representations: Interface Challenges

A full account of intentional action must appeal not only to propositional attitude states like beliefs, desires, and intentions, but also to pragmatic representations, i.e., non-propositional states that are thought to represent, among other things, action outcomes as well as detailed kinematic features of bodily movements. This raises the puzzle of how it is that these two distinct types of state successfully coordinate, exhibiting as they do different representational formats. In this talk, I examine this so-called “Interface Problem”, presenting the current stage of an ongoing joint project on this topic with Elisabeth Pacherie. First, I clarify and expand on the nature and role of pragmatic representations in explaining intentional action. Next, I identify several dimensions along which intentions and pragmatic representations must align if successful action execution is to take place, thus revealing the multifaceted character of the interface problem. Third, I evaluate Butterfill & Sinigaglia’s (2014) answer to the interface problem, according to which intentions refer to action outcomes by way of deferring to pragmatic representations. I present some worries for this proposal, arguing that, among other things, it implicitly presupposes a solution to the problem, and so cannot help to resolve it. In the final part of the talk, I suggest that we may make some progress on this puzzle by positing a “translation” process between intentions and pragmatic representations, and I offer some proposals for how this might work.