In defense of representation

Cognitive Psychology 40 (2):138--171 (2000)

Eric Dietrich
State University of New York at Binghamton
The computational paradigm, which has dominated psychology and artificial intelligence since the cognitive revolution, has been a source of intense debate. Recently, several cognitive scientists have argued against this paradigm, not by objecting to computation, but rather by objecting to the notion of representation. Our analysis of these objections reveals that it is not the notion of representation per se that is causing the problem, but rather specific properties of representations as they are used in various psychological theories. Our analysis suggests that all theorists accept the idea that cognitive processing involves internal information-carrying states that mediate cognitive processing. These mediating states are a superordinate category of representations. We discuss five properties that can be added to mediating states and examine their importance in various cognitive models. Finally, three methodological lessons are drawn from our analysis and discussion.
Keywords Representation  Cognitive Science  Artificical Intelligence  Philosophy of Mind  Cognitive Psychology
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References found in this work BETA

Unified Theories of Cognition.Allen Newell - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
Perceptual Symbol Systems.Lawrence W. Barsalou - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (4):577-660.

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Citations of this work BETA

Six Views of Embodied Cognition.Margaret Wilson - 2002 - Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 9 (4):625--636.
Extending the Classical View of Representation.Arthur B. Markman & Eric Dietrich - 2000 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4 (12):470-475.

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