Levels of representationality

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
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