Mental representation and mental presentation

In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 19-36 (2002)
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To the memory of Alan White The idea of mental representation occupies a rather prominent place in much contemporary discussion, both in philosophy and cognitive science, and not as a particularly controversial idea either. My reflections here, however, are intended to douse much of that discussion with some cold water. I should emphasize at the outset that I have no problems at all with the very idea of mental representation. What I find quite unsatisfactory is the philosophical or doctrinal underpinning of much current theorising about it. Anyway, I shall suggest that talk of mental representation needs at least to be supplemented with, if not actually replaced by, a distinct notion of mental presentation , which cannot be reduced to it. But I start with the notion of an impression



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