•  80
    The traditional view in (philosophy of) cognitive science is that computation in cognitive systems conceptually depends on representation: to compute is to manipulate representations. I argue that accepting the non-semantic teleomechanistic view of computation lays the ground for a promising alternative strategy, in which computation helps to explain and naturalise representation, rather than the other way around. I show that this computation-based approach to representation presents six decisiv…Read more
  •  72
    Are There Teleological Functions to Compute?
    Philosophy of Science 86 (3): 431-452. 2019.
    I analyze a tension at the core of the mechanistic view of computation generated by its joint commitment to the medium independence of computational vehicles and to computational systems possessing teleological functions to compute. While computation is individuated in medium-independent terms, teleology is sensitive to the constitutive physical properties of vehicles. This tension spells trouble for the mechanistic view, suggesting that there can be no teleological functions to compute. I argue…Read more
  •  59
    Being Clear on Content - Commentary on Hutto and Satne
    Philosophia 43 (3): 687-699. 2015.
    In the target article Hutto and Satne propose a new approach to studying mental content. Although I believe there is much to commend in their proposal, I argue that it makes no space for a kind of content that is of central importance to cognitive science, and which need not be involved in beliefs and desires: I will use the expression ‘representational content’ to refer to it. Neglecting representational content leads to an undue limitation of the contribution that the neo-Cartesian approach ca…Read more
  •  53
    I examine a major objection to the mechanistic view of concrete computation, stemming from an apparent tension between the abstract nature of computational explanation and the tenets of the mechanistic framework: while computational explanation is medium-independent, the mechanistic framework insists on the importance of providing some degree of structural detail about the systems target of the explanation. I show that a common reply to the objection, i.e. that mechanistic explanation of computa…Read more
  •  51
    Content Pragmatism Defended
    Topoi 39 (1): 103-113. 2020.
    In the literature on the nature and role of cognitive representation, three positions are taken across the conceptual landscape: robust realism, primitivism, and eliminativism. Recently, a fourth alternative that tries to avoid the shortcomings of traditional views has been proposed: content pragmatism. My aim is to defend pragmatism about content against some recent objections moved against the view. According to these objections, content pragmatism fails to capture the role played by represent…Read more
  •  39
    Debate on the nature of representation in cognitive systems tends to oscillate between robustly realist views and various anti-realist options. I defend an alternative view, deflationary realism, which sees cognitive representation as an offshoot of the extended application to cognitive systems of an explanatory model whose primary domain is public representation use. This extended application, justified by a common explanatory target, embodies idealisations, partial mismatches between model an…Read more
  •  37
    Against Computational Perspectivalism
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. forthcoming.
    Computational perspectivalism has been recently proposed as an alternative to mainstream accounts of physical computation, and especially to the teleologically-based mechanistic view. It takes physical computation to be partly dependent on explanatory perspectives and eschews appeal to teleology in helping individuate computational systems. I assess several varieties of computational perspectivalism, showing that they either collapse into existing non-perspectival views or end up with unsatisfac…Read more