Mental representations: The new sense-data?

Abstract

The notion of representation has become ubiquitous throughout cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience and the cognitive sciences generally. This paper addresses the status of mental representations as entities that have been posited to explain cognition. I do so by examining similarities between mental representations and sense-data in both their characteristics and key arguments offered for each. I hope to show that more caution in the adoption and use of representations in explaining cognition is warranted. Moreover, by paying attention to problematic notions of representations, a less problematic sense of representation might emerge.

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2009-01-28

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Chuck Stieg
Inver Hills Community College

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