Fabian Hundertmark
Abteilung Philosophie
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M.A. Fabian Hundertmark

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Abteilung Philosophie
Universität Bielefeld
Postfach 10 01 31
D - 33501 Bielefeld

+49 521 106-4593
Building X, A4-250



Winter Semester 2016/2017

Philosophie der Wahrnehmung (Philosophy of Perception)  (eKVV Link)

Summer Semester 2015

Vielfalt der Bedeutung in Sprache und Geist: Ruth Millikans Biosemantik (Varieties of Meaning in Language and Mind: Ruth Millikan's Biosemantics) (eKVV Link)

Summer Semester 2014

Was spricht für die Existenz Gottes oder anderer übernatürlicher Kräfte? (Epistemic reasons for theistic belief) (eKVV Link)

Winter Semester 2012/2015
to Winter Semester 2014/2015

Tutorials to the introductory courses Theoretical and Practical Philosophy



Dissertation project: The Theory of Function in Teleosemantics

Intentional mental states such as beliefs and desires are mental representations. Being representations, they have content. We don't only believe or desire, we believe or desire that something is the case. What must be the case in order for our beliefs to be true or our desires to be fulfilled depends on the representational content of the belief or desire in question. My belief that the sun is shining for example has the content that the sun is shining. It is true just in case the sun is shining.

My dissertation is concerned with teleosemantics, a family of theories that have in common the idea that representational content is based on biological function. Most teleosemantic theories equate the biological function of a trait with the effect this trait was selected for. This etiological theory of function is evolutionarily and historically founded.

Teleosemantics is one of the most influential and most discussed naturalistic theories of mental content. The main reason for its success is that teleosemantics is taken to be able to explain the specific content not only of representations, but also misrepresentation in an elegant and above all uniform way. But teleosemantics is also confronted with some severe problems. By their light, our knowledge of contents and the role they play in explanations of behavior are deemed mysterious. What is more, productive systems with the capacity to bring about new representations cannot be explained.

Both, its remarkable explanatory success and its problems can be traced back to the etiological theory of function that teleosemantics traditionally comprises, or so I argue. For this reason my aim is to develop an alternative theory of function which preserves the benefits of the etiological theory while avoiding its problems.

My dissertation is part of the project Advancing Teleosemantics and funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).


25. September 2017 Ein ätiologisch-epistemisches Argument für den ontologischen Naturalismus (An Etiological-Epistemic Argument for Ontological Naturalism)

at the XXIV. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Philosophie - Norm und Natur, Berlin (Germany)

7. September 2017 Explaining How to Perceive the New

at the workshop Teleosemantics and the Nature of Functions, Bielefeld (Germany)

22. August 2017 Teleosemantics and Selected Dispositions

at the European Congress of Analytic Philosophy (ECAP 9), Munich (Germany)

8. September 2016 Productive Functions and Etiological Disposition Theory

Round Table Discussion "Philosophical Theories of Biological Functions" with Thomas Bonnin and Alessandra Passariello at the European Advanced School in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences 2016, Vienna (Austria)

12. July 2016 Warum Mary nicht Weiß, dass sie Qualia hat: Das Ätiologisch-Epistemische Argument für den Physikalismus (Why Mary doesn't know that she has Qualia: The Etiological-Epistemic Argument for Physicalism)

at the Arbeitskreis Bewusstsein, Münster (Germany)

15. September 2015 Produktivität als Problem für die Teleosemantik (Productivity as a Problem for Teleosemantics)

at the GAP.9 - Philosophie zwischen Lehnstuhl und Labor, Osnabrück (Germany)

6. July 2013 Content Determinacy Challenges

together with Peter Schulte at the workshop „Teleosemantics - The Natural and the Normative“ with Karen Neander, Fribourg (Swiss)

14. September 2012

Nichtabgeleitete Repräsentationen und die These des erweiterten Geistes (Non-derived Representations and the Hypothesis of Extended Mind)

at Salzburger Tagung für Junge Analytische Philosophie 2012, Salzburg (Austria)



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