I think you misunderstand my argument. In order to be able to perceive a world one needs to be subject to mental states with representative contents, yes?
The point of my thought experiments was to show that in order for a mental state to be said (vulgarly) to 'represent' something to be the case, there would need to be an agent who is doing the representing in question. The mental state itself does not do any representing. That's as foolish as thinking that the note I wrote on is telling you about the cat. The note is not telling you anything; I am telling you about the cat via the note.
What you are doing, it seems to me, is focussing on the fact that we can nevertheless acquire accurate and justified beliefs about the world via various mechanisms that are expressing no attitudes of an agent. And I clearly agree with that. That's not the issue. My point is that something - be it some squiggles on a piece of paper or a mental state - does not itself 'represent' anything to be the case (and pointing out that we can acquire accurate information by such means is beside the point - one can acquire accurate information from dreams, that doesn't mean one is perceiving things in them). The representing is done via them, but not by them. They have to be being used - used by an agent - for that purpose or a sufficiently closely related one before they can be said to be 'representing' something to be the case (and again, even then, this is loose talk, for the state itself does not do any representing).
So we can have two states that are introspectively indiscernible, and one can be representing something to be the case, and the other not. In order for us to be perceiving a world, our mental states - some of them - need to be representing there to be a world. It is not sufficient that they be introspectively indiscernible from such states. They need actually to be representing something to be the case. And they will not be doing this unless an agent got them to arise in us for that very purpose. If that is not the case - if our faculties have been forged by unguided natural forces - then although we will still acquire true beliefs about the world we are living in from them, we will not be perceiving the world, even though our situation would be introspectively indiscernible from what would be the case if we were.
Demonstrating that some E can produce x that isn't y cannot reasonably be a demonstration that E cannot produce y. "E can produce x" is a capability. "E cannot produce y" is a limitation. x not being y is nowhere close to demonstrating said capability implies said limitation. — InPitzotl
This I do not understand - that is, I do not understand how what you're saying here relates to anything I have argued.
The alleged argument for this premise is about the capability of unguided evolutionary forces providing things that don't convey information to us. What has that argument to do with that premise? — InPitzotl
That's just a mistaken interpretation on your part. I have not argued that blind natural forces cannot cause us to acquire true beliefs about the world. I said the precise opposite of that. They can. Obviously. The point is that they will do this by causing the beliefs in us, not by representing anything to be the case.
I should add, that if our belief forming mechanisms are also wholly the product of unguided forces, then the same would apply to our beliefs - or 'beliefs'. They would not in fact be beliefs, though we would be unable to distinguish them from the real deal.
The point is that nothing in principle stops an unguided mechanism from creating in us an accurate belief, provided we have a belief-forming mechanism already in place.