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2.6. Representation (Representation on PhilPapers)

See also:
Adams, Frederick R. (2002). Mental representation. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Google)
Bartels, Andreas (2006). Defending the structural concept of representation. Theoria 21 (55):7-19.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to defend the structural concept of representation, as defined by homomorphisms, against its main objections, namely: logical objections, the objection from misrepresentation, theobjection from failing necessity, and the copy theory objection. The logical objections can be met by reserving the relation
Bickhard, Mark H. (2001). Function, anticipation, representation. AIP Conference Proceedings 573:459-469.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Function emerges in certain kinds of far-from-equilibrium systems. One important kind of function is that of interactive anticipation, an adaptedness to temporal complexity. Interactive anticipation is the locus of the emergence of normative representational content, and, thus, of representation in general: interactive anticipation is the naturalistic core of the evolution of cognition. Higher forms of such anticipation are involved in the subsequent macro-evolutionary sequence of learning, emotions, and reflexive consciousness
Bickhard, Mark H. (2000). Information and representation in autonomous agents. Cognitive Systems Research 1 (2):65-75.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Information and representation are thought to be intimately related. Representation, in fact, is commonly considered to be a special kind of information. It must be a _special_ kind, because otherwise all of the myriad instances of informational relationships in the universe would be representational -- some restrictions must be placed on informational relationships in order to refine the vast set into those that are truly representational. I will argue that information in this general sense is important to genuine agents, but that it is a blind alley with regard to the attempt to understand representation. On the other hand, I will also argue that a different, quite non-standard, form of information is central to genuine representation. First I turn to some of the reasons why information as usually considered is the wrong category for understanding representation; second to an alternative model of representation -- one that is naturally emergent in autonomous agents, and that does involve information, but not in any standard form; and third I return to standard notions of informational relationships and show what they are in fact useful for
Bickhard, Mark H. (1998). Levels of representationality. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 10 (2):179-215.   (Cited by 83 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The dominant assumptions -- throughout contemporary philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence -- about the ontology underlying intentionality, and its core of representationality, is that of encodings -- some sort of informational or correspondence or covariation relationship between the represented and its representation that constitutes that representational relationship. There are many disagreements concerning details and implementations, and even some suggestions about claimed alternative ontologies, such as connectionism (though none that escape what I argue is the fundamental flaw in these dominant approaches). One assumption that seems to be held by all, however, usually without explication or defense, is that there is _one_ singular underlying ontology to representationality. In this paper, I argue that there are in fact quite a number of ontologies that manifest representationality -- levels of representationality -- and that _none_ of them are the standard "manipulations of encoded symbols" ontology, nor any other variation on the informational approach to representation. Collectively, these multiple representational ontologies constitute a framework for cognition, whether natural or artificial
Bickhard, Mark H. (2002). Mind as process. In F.G. Riffert & Marcel Weber (eds.), Searching for New Contrasts. Vienna: Peter Lang.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: assumptions about the phenomena of interest with process models. Thus, phlogiston has been replaced by combustion, caloric by random thermal motion, and vital fluid by far- from-equilibrium self-reproducing organizations of process. The most significant exceptions to this historical pattern are found in studies of the mind. Here, substance assumptions are still ubiquitous, ranging from models of representation to those of emotions to personality and psychopathology. Substance assumptions do pernicious damage to our ability to understand such phenomena. In this discussion, I will focus on the problem of representation
Bickhard, Mark H. (1993). Representational content in humans and machines. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 5:285-33.   (Cited by 207 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This article focuses on the problem of representational content. Accounting for representational content is the central issue in contemporary naturalism: it is the major remaining task facing a naturalistic conception of the world. Representational content is also the central barrier to contemporary cognitive science and artificial intelligence: it is not possible to understand representation in animals nor to construct machines with genuine representation given current (lack of) understanding of what representation is. An elaborated critique is offered to current approaches to representation, arguing that the basic underlying approach is, at root, logically incoherent, and, thus, that standard approaches are doomed to failure. An alternative model of representation - interactivism - is presented that avoids or solves the problems facing standard approaches. Interactivism is framed by a version of functionalism, and a naturalization of that functionalism completes an outline of a naturalization of representation and representational content
Bickhard, Mark H. (2003). Some notes on internal and external relations and representation. Consciousness and Emotion 4 (1):101-110.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Internal relations are those relations that are intrinsic to the nature of one or more of the relata. They are a kind of essential relation, rather than an essential property. For example, an arc of a circle is internally related to the center of that circle in the sense that
Bickhard, Mark H. (2004). The dynamic emergence of representation. In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Representation in Mind. Elsevier.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: A final version of this paper is in press as: Bickhard, M. H. (in press). The Dynamic Emergence of Representation. In H. Clapin, P. Staines, P. Slezak (Eds.) Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation. Praeger
Böök, L. (1999). Representationalism and the metonymic fallacy. Synthese 118 (1):13-30.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Blachowicz, James A. (1997). Analog representation beyond mental imagery. Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):55-84.   (Cited by 47 | Google | More links)
Brand, Myles (ed.) (1986). The Representation Of Knowledge And Belief. Tucson: University Of Arizona Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Brinck, Ingar & G, (1999). Representation and self-awareness in intentional agents. Synthese 118 (1):89-104.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Butterfill, Stephen (online). Using and understanding maps.   (Google)
Abstract: Many philosophers who advocate broadly pragmatist accounts of belief or language treat maps as paradigm examples of representation and they often assume that a pragmatic account of representation is obviously correct for maps (e.g. Dewey, Dretske, Millikan, Putnam and Ramsey). By examining mapping activities and the representational properties of maps in detail, this paper argues that no single notion of representation can fit every map or every mapping activity. This is bad news for pragmatists: if there are maps they can’t cope with, we should question whether they can tell the full story about belief or language
Chomsky, Noam A. (1980). Rules and representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3:1-61.   (Cited by 1367 | Google | More links)
Christensen, Wayne D. (2004). Representation and the meaning of life. In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Representation in Mind. Elsevier.   (Cited by 15 | Google)
Churchland, Patricia S.; Farber, Ilya B. & Peterman, Will (2001). The view from here: The nonsymbolic structure of spatial representation. In Joao Branquinho (ed.), The Foundations of Cognitive Science. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Google)
Clark, Andy (2002). Minds, brains and tools. In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Philosophy of Mental Representation. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The selected texts for this discussion were two recent pieces by Dennett (
Clapin, Hugh (ed.) (2002). Philosophy of Mental Representation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In Philosophy of Mental Representation five of the most original and important thinkers in philosophy of mind engage in an overlapping dialogue about mental representation. In new papers, contributors Andy Clark, Robert Cummins, Daniel Dennett, John Haugeland, and Brian Cantwell Smith each investigate the views and claims of one of the other contributors regarding mental representation. The subject then offers a reply. An exciting feature of this collection is the dynamic discussion among all contributors following each exchange. This collection offers the latest thinking on mental representation carefully and critically analyzed by the leading thinkers in the field
Clapin, Hugh (ed.) (2004). Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation. Elsevier.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Abstract: 'Representation in Mind' is the first book in the new series 'Perspectives on Cognitive Science' and includes well known contributors in the...
Clapin, Hugh (2002). Tacit representation in functional architecture. In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Philosophy of Mental Representation. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Clark, Andy (2002). The roots of 'norm-hungriness'. In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Philosophy of Mental Representation. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Cummins, Robert E. (1991). Form, interpretation, and the uniqueness of content: A response to Morris. Minds and Machines 1 (1):31-42.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Cummins, Robert E. & Poirier, Pierre (2004). Representation and indication. In Hugh Clapin (ed.), Representation in Mind. Elsevier.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Abstract: This paper is about two kinds of mental content and how they are related. We are going to call them representation and indication. We will begin with a rough characterization of each. The differences, and why they matter, will, hopefully, become clearer as the paper proceeds
Dalenoort, G. J. (1990). Toward a general theory of representation. Psychological Research 52:229-237.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1983). Styles of mental representation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 83:213-226.   (Cited by 27 | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (2001). Things about things. In The Foundations of Cognitive Science. Oup.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Dietrich, Eric & Markman, A. (2003). Discrete thoughts: Why cognition must use discrete representations. Mind and Language 18 (1):95-119.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Dilworth, John B. (2006). Representation as epistemic identification. Philo 9 (1):12-31.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In a previous Philo article, it was shown how properties could be ontologically dispensed with via a representational analysis: to be an X is to comprehensively represent all the properties of an X. The current paper extends that representationalist (RT) theory by explaining representation itself in parallel epistemic rather than ontological terms. On this extended RT (ERT) theory, representations of X, as well as the real X, both may be identified as providing information about X, whether partial or comprehensive. But that information does not match ontological, property-based analyses of X, so it is epistemically fundamental–hence supporting a broadly conceptualist rather than nominalist metaphysics
Dreyfus, Hubert L. (2002). Intelligence without representation: Merleau-ponty's critique of mental representation. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1:367-83.   (Cited by 36 | Google | More links)
Dreyfus, Hubert L. (2002). Refocusing the question: Can there be skillful coping without propositional representations or brain representations? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 1 (4):413-25.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Eco, Umberto (ed.) (1988). Meaning And Mental Representations. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.   (Cited by 26 | Google)
Edelman, Shimon (1998). Representation is representation of similarities. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):449-467.   (Cited by 133 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Intelligent systems are faced with the problem of securing a principled (ideally, veridical) relationship between the world and its internal representation. I propose a unified approach to visual representation, addressing both the needs of superordinate and basic-level categorization and of identification of specific instances of familiar categories. According to the proposed theory, a shape is represented by its similarity to a number of reference shapes, measured in a high-dimensional space of elementary features. This amounts to embedding the stimulus in a low-dimensional proximal shape space. That space turns out to support representation of distal shape similarities which is veridical in the sense of Shepard's (1968) notion of second-order isomorphism (i.e., correspondence between distal and proximal similarities among shapes, rather than between distal shapes and their proximal representations). Furthermore, a general expression for similarity between two stimuli, based on comparisons to reference shapes, can be used to derive models of perceived similarity ranging from continuous, symmetric, and hierarchical, as in the multidimensional scaling models (Shepard, 1980), to discrete and non-hierarchical, as in the general contrast models (Tversky, 1977; Shepard and Arabie, 1979)
Edelman, Shimon (1995). Representation, similarity, and the chorus of prototypes. Minds and Machines 5 (1):45-68.   (Cited by 82 | Google | More links)
Elkins, James (2008). Six Stories From the End of Representation: Images in Painting, Photography, Astronomy, Microscopy, Particle Physics, and Quantum Mechanics, 1980-2000. Stanford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: James Elkins has shaped the discussion about how we—as artists, as art historians, or as outsiders—view art. He has not only revolutionized our thinking about the purpose of teaching art, but has also blazed trails in creating a means of communication between scientists, artists, and humanities scholars. In Six Stories from the End of Representation , Elkins weaves stories about recent images from painting, photography, physics, astrophysics, and microscopy. These images, regardless of origin, all fail as representations: they are blurry, dark, pixellated, or otherwise unclear. In these opaque images, Elkins finds an opportunity to create stories that speak simultaneously to artists and to scientists, and to open both those fields to those of us who have little purchase in either. Regarding each image through the lens of the discipline that produced it, Elkins simultaneously affirms the unique structure of each way of viewing the world and brings those views together into a vibrant conversation
Emmett, Kathleen (1988). Meaning and mental representation. In Perspectives On Mind. Dordrecht: Kluwer.   (Google)
Fodor, Jerry A. (1986). Why paramecia don't have mental representations. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 10:3-23.   (Annotation | Google)
Freed, B.; Marras, Ausonio & Maynard, Patrick (eds.) (1975). Forms of Representation: Proceedings of the 1972 Philosophy Colloquium of the University of Western Ontario. American Elsevier Pub. Co..   (Google)
Freeman, Walter J. & Skarda, Christine A. (1990). Representations: Who needs them? In J. McGaugh, Jerry Weinberger & G. Lynch (eds.), Brain Organization and Memory. Guilford Press.   (Cited by 32 | Google)
Gallagher, Shaun (2000). Representation and deliberate action. Houston Studies in Cognitive Science 1.   (Google)
Abstract: Dreyfus enlists the aid of Merleau-Ponty in his critique of representationalist theories of cognition. Such theories posit a representational element at some level of cognitive activity. The nature of the representation and how we think of it will depend upon the level at which one claims to find it. If we consider the case of perception, at one extreme it might be claimed that the representation is a conscious one, that is, that the perceiving subject is conscious of a representation, a _Vorstellung_ in the Kantian sense. In this case, it would clearly come between the perceiving subject and the world and in that sense interfere with a direct perception of the world. This sort of representational theory would be equivalent to idealism, and for good phenomenological reasons it is rejected by Merleau-Ponty and Dreyfus. At the other extreme, it is possible to find cognitive scientists talking about representations at the level of brain activity. Neural representations, either firing patterns or the actual "hard wiring" of neuronal connections (as, for example, neural maps in the somatosensory and motor areas responsible for the experience of the subject's own body), in some way enable perception. At this level of description there are various debates about how these mechanisms can be called representational. If the concept of representation involves reference to the perceptual field, in what sense does a neuronal pattern refer? There are also the familiar debates about how such mechanisms actually function, as well as the difficult problem of how such functions actually translate into personal level experience. Before these debates get off the ground, however, Dreyfus wants to steal the ammunition. He denies that there are representations at the level of brain processes
Gamble, D. D. (1992). Meaning and mental representation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (3):343-357.   (Google)
Millikan, Ruth G. (1996). Pushmi-pullyu representations. In James Tomberlin (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives. Ridgeview Publishing.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: A list of groceries, Professor Anscombe once suggested, might be used as a shopping list, telling what to buy, or it might be used as an inventory list, telling what has been bought (Anscombe 1957). If used as a shopping list, the world is supposed to conform to the representation: if the list does not match what is in the grocery bag, it is what is in the bag that is at fault. But if used as an inventory list, the representation is supposed to conform to the world: if the list does not match what is in the bag, it is the list that is at fault. The first kind of representation, where the world is supposed to conform to the list, can be called "directive"; it represents or directs what is to be done. The second, where the list is supposed to conform to the world, can be called "descriptive"; it represents or describes what is the case. I wish to propose that there exist representations that face both these ways at once. With apologies to Dr. Doolittle, I call them pushmi-pullyu representations or PPRs
Georgalis, Nicholas (1986). Intentionality and representation. International Studies in Philosophy 18:45-58.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
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Godfrey-Smith, Peter (ms). Model-based science and the representational theory of mind.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: Over the past 30 years, one topic much discussed in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology has been the status of "the representational theory of mind," or "RTM." As usually conceived, the representational theory holds that the mind operates (in part) by creating, storing, and using internal representations of objects and events in the world
Goldman, A. (1986). Constraints on representation. In Myles Brand & Robert M. Harnish (eds.), The Representation of Knowledge and Belief. University of Arizona Press.   (Google)
Gardenfors, Peter (1996). Mental representation, conceptual spaces and metaphors. Synthese 106 (1):21-47.   (Cited by 60 | Google | More links)
Grush, Rick (1997). The architecture of representation. Philosophical Psychology 10 (1):5-23.   (Cited by 58 | Google | More links)
Abstract: b>: In this article I outline, apply, and defend a theory of natural representation. The main consequences of this theory are: i) representational status is a matter of how physical entities are used, and specifically is not a matter of causation, nomic relations with the intentional object, or information; ii) there are genuine (brain-)internal representations; iii) such representations are really representations, and not just farcical pseudo-representations, such as attractors, principal components, state-space partitions, or what-have-you;and iv) the theory allows us to sharply distinguish those complex behaviors which are genuinely cognitive from those which are merely complex and adaptive
Grush, Rick (2004). The emulation theory of representation: Motor control, imagery, and perception. Behavioral And Brain Sciences 27 (3):377-396.   (Cited by 90 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The emulation theory of representation is developed and explored as a framework that can revealingly synthesize a wide variety of representational functions of the brain. The framework is based on constructs from control theory (forward models) and signal processing (Kalman filters). The idea is that in addition to simply engaging with the body and environment, the brain constructs neural circuits that act as models of the body and environment. During overt sensorimotor engagement, these models are driven by efference copies in parallel with the body and environment, in order to provide expectations of the sensory feedback, and to enhance and process sensory information. These models can also be run off-line in order to produce imagery, estimate outcomes of different actions, and evaluate and develop motor plans. The framework is initially developed within the context of motor control, where it has been shown that inner models running in parallel with the body can reduce the effects of feedback delay problems. The same mechanisms can account for motor imagery as the off-line driving of the emulator via efference copies. The framework is extended to account for visual imagery as the off-line driving of an emulator of the motor-visual loop. I also show how such systems can provide for amodal spatial imagery. Perception, including visual perception, results from such models being used to form expectations of, and to interpret, sensory input. I close by briefly outlining other cognitive functions that might also be synthesized within this framework, including reasoning, theory of mind phenomena, and language. Key Words: efference copies; emulation theory of representation; forward models; Kalman filters; motor control; motor imagery; perception; visual imagery
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Jovchelovitch, Sandra (2006). Knowledge in Context: Representations, Community, and Culture. Routledge.   (Google)
Abstract: This authored book provides an innovative and systematic account of key debates within the social psychology of knowledge, using the theory of social representations as a guide. This account is then elaborated and integrated into a conceptually coherent theoretical framework to further the social psychological dimensions of the relationship between representations, knowledge and context. Jovchelovitch highlights the social psychological components of the process of knowledge formation and their impact in the constitution of communities, culture and public spheres. Whilst this exploration contributes to an understanding of the genesis, logic and function of knowledge in social life, it also shows that context is essential to understanding the dynamics of representation and emphasises the fundamental unity between the two. This book offers a significant and stimulating contribution to the field of social representations and will make essential reading for those wanting to follow this debate at thecutting edge of social, cultural and developmental psychology as well as sociology, anthropology and cultural studies
Press, Joel Kenton (2008). The scientific use of 'representation' and 'function': Avoiding explanatory vacuity. Synthese 161 (1).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Nearly all of the ways philosophers currently attempt to define the terms ‘representation’ and ‘function’ undermine the scientific application of those terms by rendering the scientific explanations in which they occur vacuous. Since this is unacceptable, we must develop analyses of these terms that avoid this vacuity. Robert Cummins argues in this fashion in Representations, Targets, and Attitudes. He accuses ‘use theories’ of representational content of generating vacuous explanations, claims that nearly all current theories of representational content are use theories, and offers a non-use theory of representational content which avoids explanatory vacuity. One task I undertake in this article is to develop an alternative non-use theory which avoids an objection fatal to that theory
Kriegel, Uriah (forthcoming). Personal-level representation. Protosociology.   (Google)
Abstract: The current orthodoxy on mental representation can be characterized in terms of three
central ideas. The first is ontological, the second semantic, and the third methodological. After
elucidating those, I argue that the emerging picture of mental representation is satisfactory only as
an account of mental representation at the sub-personal level. It is unsatisfactory, in a principled
way, as an account of mental representation at the personal level.
Kukla, Rebecca (1992). Cognitive models and representation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (2):219-32.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Several accounts of representation in cognitive systems have recently been proposed. These look for a theory that will establish how a representation comes to have a certain content, and how these representations are used by cognitive systems. Covariation accounts are unsatisfactory, as they make intelligent reasoning and cognition impossible. Cummins' interpretation-based account cannot explain the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive systems, nor how certain cognitive representations appear to have intrinsic meaning. Cognitive systems can be defined as model-constructers, or systems that use information from interpreted models as arguments in the functions they execute. An account based on this definition solves many of the problems raised by the earlier proposals
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Abstract: No doubt, we human beings often think about objects, remember facts and imagine events
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Abstract: In this reply we claim that, contra Dreyfus, the kinds of skillful performances Dreyfus discusses _are_ representational. We explain this proposal, and then defend it against an objection to the effect that the representational notion we invoke is a weak one countenancing only some global state of an organism as a representation. According to this objection, such a representation is not a robust, projectible property of an organism, and hence will gain no explana- tory leverage in cognitive scientific explanations. We argue on conceptual and empirical grounds that the representations we have identified are not weak unprojectible global states of organisms, but instead genuinely explanatory representational parts of persons
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Abstract: Representation is a central part of models in cognitive science, but recently this idea has come under attack. Researchers advocating perceptual symbol systems, situated action, embodied cognition, and dynamical systems have argued against central assumptions of the classical representational approach to mind. We review the core assumptions of the dominant view of representation and the four suggested alternatives. We argue that representation should remain a core part of cognitive science, but that the insights from these alternative approaches must be incorporated into models of cognitive processing
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Abstract: Conceptual atomists argue that most of our concepts are primitive. I take up three arguments that have been thought to support atomism and show that they are inconclusive. The evidence that allegedly backs atomism is equally compatible with a localist position on which concepts are structured representations with complex semantic content. I lay out such a localist position and argue that the appropriate position for a non-atomist to adopt is a pluralist view of conceptual structure. I show several ways in which conceptual pluralism provides an advantage in satisfying the empirical and philosophical demands on a theory of conceptual structure and content
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Abstract: In his response to my Why There Are No Mental Representations, Robert Cummins accused me of having misinterpreted his views, and attempted to undermine a crucial premise of my argument, which claimed that one could only define a semantic type non-semantically by stipulating which tokens should receive a uniform interpretation. I respond to the charge and defend the premise
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Abstract: The notion of a "mental representation" is, arguably, in the first instance a theoretical construct of cognitive science. As such, it is a basic concept of the Computational Theory of Mind, according to which cognitive states and processes are constituted by the occurrence, transformation and storage (in the mind/brain) of information-bearing structures (representations) of one kind or another
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Abstract: called,_ Cognitive Science_ was to bring back scienti?c realism. This may strike you as a very odd claim, for one does not usually think of science as needing to be talked into scienti?c realism. Science is, after all, the study of reality by the most precise instruments of measurement and
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Abstract: This book critically examines the ways in which philosophers and cognitive scientists appeal to representations in their theories, and argues that there is...
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Abstract: I critique an ancient argument for the possibility of non-linguistic deductive inference. The argument, attributed to Chrysippus, describes a dog whose behavior supposedly reflects disjunctive syllogistic reasoning. Drawing on contemporary robotics, I urge that we can equally well explain the dog's behavior by citing probabilistic reasoning over cognitive maps. I then critique various experimentally-based arguments from scientific psychology that echo Chrysippus's anecdotal presentation.
Rescorla, Michael (2009). Cognitive maps and the language of thought. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Fodor advocates a view of cognitive processes as computations defined over the language of thought (or Mentalese). Even among those who endorse Mentalese, considerable controversy surrounds its representational format. What semantically relevant structure should scientific psychology attribute to Mentalese symbols? Researchers commonly emphasize logical structure, akin to that displayed by predicate calculus sentences. To counteract this tendency, I discuss computational models of navigation drawn from probabilistic robotics. These models involve computations defined over cognitive maps, which have geometric rather than logical structure. They thereby demonstrate the possibility of rational cognitive processes in an exclusively non-logical representational medium. Furthermore, they offer much promise for the empirical study of animal navigation.
Rescorla, Michael (2009). Predication and cartographic representation. Synthese 169 (1).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I argue that maps do not feature predication, as analyzed by Frege and Tarski. I take as my foil (Casati and Varzi, Parts and places, 1999), which attributes predication to maps. I argue that the details of Casati and Varzi’s own semantics militate against this attribution. Casati and Varzi emphasize what I call the Absence Intuition: if a marker representing some property (such as mountainous terrain) appears on a map, then absence of that marker from a map coordinate signifies absence of the corresponding property from the corresponding location. Predication elicits nothing like the Absence Intuition. “F(a)” does not, in general, signify that objects other than a lack property F. On the basis of this asymmetry, I argue that attaching a marker to map coordinates is a different mode of semantic composition than attaching a predicate to a singular term
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Riegler, Alexander (ed.) (1999). Understanding Representation in the Cognitive Sciences: Does Representation Need Reality. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub.   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Abstract: This volume argues in favor of rethinking basic issues in cognitive science in the context of recent developments.
Robinson, William S. (1999). Representation and cognitive explanation. In Understanding Representation in the Cognitive Sciences: Does Representation Need Reality, Riegler. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub.   (Google)
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Rosenberg, Gregg H. & Anderson, Michael L. (online). Content and action: The guidance theory of representation.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: b>. The current essay introduces the guidance theory of representation, according to which the content and intentionality of representations can be accounted for in terms of the way they provide guidance for action. We offer a brief account of the biological origins of representation, a formal characterization of the guidance theory, some examples of its use, and show how the guidance theory handles some traditional problem cases for representation: the problems of error and of representation of fictional and abstract entities
Rutgers Marshall, Henry (1906). Presentation and representation. Mind 15 (57):53-80.   (Google | More links)
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Sedivy, Sonia (2004). Minds: Contents without vehicles. Philosophical Psychology 17 (2):149-181.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper explores a new understanding of mind or mental representation by arguing that contents at the personal level are not carried by vehicles. Contentful mental states at the personal level are distinctive by virtue of their vehicle-less nature: the subpersonal physiological or functional states that are associated with and enable personal level contents cannot be understood as their vehicles, neither can the sensations or the sensory conditions associated with perceptual contents. This result is obtained by first extending the interpretationist ideas of Davidson and Dennett to show that subpersonal physiological or functional states cannot be construed as the vehicles of personal level contents. Then the anti-foundationalist arguments of Sellars are extended to show that sensory states cannot stand as vehicles to perceptual contents. The line of argumentation extended from Sellars also provides a critique of the current trend to posit non-conceptual contents
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Slezak, Peter (2002). The tripartite model of representation. Philosophical Psychology 15 (3):239-270.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Robert Cummins [(1996) Representations, targets and attitudes, Cambridge, MA: Bradford/MIT, p. 1] has characterized the vexed problem of mental representation as "the topic in the philosophy of mind for some time now." This remark is something of an understatement. The same topic was central to the famous controversy between Nicolas Malebranche and Antoine Arnauld in the 17th century and remained central to the entire philosophical tradition of "ideas" in the writings of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid and Kant. However, the scholarly, exegetical literature has almost no overlap with that of contemporary cognitive science. I show that the recurrence of certain deep perplexities about the mind is a systematic and pervasive pattern arising not only throughout history, but also in a number of independent domains today such as debates over visual imagery, symbolic systems and others. Such historical and contemporary convergences suggest that the fundamental issues cannot arise essentially from the theoretical guise they take in any particular case
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Abstract: In seeking to understand the extraordinary persistence and recalcitrance of the problems of intentionality, it is instructive to focus attention on one particular facet of the issue. The question of misrepresentation has been discussed recently as a puzzling aspect of the overall problem of the semantics of mental representation (Fodor 1984, 1994, Dretske 1994) and I propose to explore this issue as a loose thread which may be pulled to unravel the rest of the tangled ball
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Abstract: Until a few years ago, Cognitive Science was firmly wedded to the notion that cognition must be explained in terms of the computational manipulation of internal representations or symbols. Although many people still believe this, the consensus is no longer solid. Whether it is truly threatened by connectionism is, perhaps, controversial, but there are yet more radical approaches that explicitly reject it. Advocates of "embodied" or "situated" approaches to cognition (e.g., Smith, 1991; Varela _et al_ , 1991, Clancey, 1997) argue that thought cannot be understood as entirely internal. Furthermore, it is argued that autonomous robots can be designed to behave more intelligently if representationalist programming techniques are avoided (Brooks, 1991), and that the way our brains control our behavior is better understood in terms of chaos and dynamical systems theory rather than as any sort computation (e.g., Freeman & Skarda, 1990; Van Gelder & Port, 1995; Van Gelder, 1995; Garson, 1996)
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Abstract: An introduction to the science and philosophy of mental imagery.
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Abstract: Up to David L. Thompson's Homepage Outline by Section: I INTRODUCTION II A COLOURED ILLUSTRATION III THE NATURE OF WORLDS #1. Generalization from colour to all perceived #2. Chess as a model world. #3. Worlds depend on supervenience #4. Supervenience #5. Supervenience applied to worlds #6. Five dependencies #6. Interrelationships between the five #7. The enactive approach to transformation #8. The transformation of worlds #9. A world is a condensed history #10. A shared world defined by individuals #11. Summary VI ONTOLOGY #1. Are perceived objects duplicates of physical #2. Are objects in the world real or illusory? #3. Ontological status of worlds and objects #3. Ontological status of worlds and objects V. CONCLUSION ENDNOTES
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Abstract: This chapter examines the similarities and differences between physical, psychological and virtual realities, and challenges some conventional, implicitly dualist assumptions about how these relate to each other. Virtual realities are not easily understood in either dualist or materialist reductive terms, as they exemplify the reflexive nature of perception. The chapter summarises some of the evidence for this “reflexive model”—and examines some of its consequences for the “hard” problem of consciousness. The chapter then goes on to consider how these realities might relate to some grounding reality or thing-itself, and considers some of the personal and social consequences of becoming increasingly immersed in virtual realities. Although this chapter was published in 1998 and develops work published in 1990, it presents a form of “radical externalism” that anticipates many themes in current (2006) internalism versus externalism debates about the nature of mind. It is also relevant to an understanding of virtual reality “presence.”
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Wilder, Hugh T. (1988). Representation redux. Metaphilosophy 19 (July-October):185-195.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)

2.6a The Concept of Representation

2.6b Varieties of Representation

2.6c Theories of Representation

Gauker, Christopher (1995). Thinking Out Loud: An Essay on the Relation Between Thought and Language. Princeton University Press.   (Cited by 30 | Google)

2.6d Skepticism about Representations

2.6e Representation, Misc

Matthen, Mohan (2009). Truly blue: An adverbial aspect of perceptual representation. Analysis 69 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: It commonly occurs that one person sees a particular colour chip B as saturated blue with no admixture of red or green (i.e., as “uniquely blue”), while another sees it as a somewhat greenish blue. Such a difference is often accompanied by agreement with respect to colour matching – the two persons may mostly agree when asked whether two chips are of the same colour, and this may be so across the whole range of colours. Asked whether B is the same or different from other chips, they mostly agree – though they continue to disagree about whether B is uniquely blue. I shall argue that in such cases neither individual misperceives what colour B is. They differ, rather, in how they perceive the colour of B
Thompson, Brad J. (2010). The spatial content of experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):146-184.   (Google | More links)