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A Model for the Interlock Between Propositional and Motor Formats

  • Gabriele FerrettiEmail author
  • Silvano Zipoli Caiani
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 49)

Abstract

One of the most important tasks of philosophy of mind is the investigation of the nature of our mental states. However, mental states come in different formats. In this respect, one of the most interesting problems in contemporary philosophy of mind is determining how mental states coming in different formats can interlock. Such a problem has generated two parallel debates, especially when we try to describe the nature of practical knowledge in skilled motor action: the one about Intellectualism and the one about the Interface Problem. Both of these two debates, which are at the crossroad between philosophy of mind and philosophy of action, seem to share a common problem. Action performance requires the interplay between two different representational formats, the practical and the propositional. If so, how can we account for such an interlock between these two different formats? We mention these two debates as starting point, in order to highlight the importance of providing an account capable of explaining the relation between different mental states, especially in the case of propositional and pragmatic, motor states. However, we do not want to directly tackle these two literatures here. Rather, we want to sketch a possible solution for such a problem, which can be beneficial for both the literatures. We suggest that motor and propositional states interlock through the motor mediation of action concepts. Our account is cashed out from the philosophical analysis of empirical evidence showing that the information processing that is responsible for the generation of the representations of action concepts is strictly related to the motor processing that is responsible for generating the appropriate representations recruited in the planning and execution of motor behaviors.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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