Seminar Series in Analytic Philosophy

João Pinheiro

Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa

The True-Fit Thesis and its Prime Corollary

13 October 2017, 16:00

Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa

Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)

Abstract: According to interactivism, autonomous systems are those that maintain a non-stationary stability outside of thermodynamic equilibrium in virtue of interactions with their environment, and normativity emerges as a measure of the systems’ ability to preserve their autonomy, such that only those interactions that maintain autonomy are said to be functional. Interactivists think that this constitutes the basic framework in which one can state a minimalist theory of representation. Because the conditions under which interactions are deemed functional are in the future of the interaction once initiated, functional interactions are those that rightfully anticipate the conditions under which autonomy is maintained. In this talk I will offer a formulation and defence of a complement to this theory which I have called the True-Fit Thesis, one that reads as follows: a true-fit is an internal and extrinsic relation between true contents and the truth conditions qua success conditions of these contents bearers’ interactions. From TFT, I will then derive a corollary called Milvian Bridge (after Griffiths & Wilkins 2014), of which a possible reading is that there is positive natural selection only for truth-tropic cognitive mechanisms in virtue of their ability to preserve biosystems’ autonomy.