Representation: The philosophical contribution to psychology

Critical Inquiry 3 (4):709--723 (1977)

Armed with a theory of representation, or with answers to the two questions, What is a representation? and What is it to represent?, we might imagine ourselves approaching a putative representation and asking of it, Is it a representation?, and then, on the assumption that the answer is yes, going on to ask of it, What does it represent? Now, the answers that such questions receive might be called the applied answers of the theory that we are armed with. It is in terms of this notion—that of the applied answers of a theory—that we may introduce the second way of classifying theories of representation. Theories of representation might be classified according to the degree of dependence or independence between the applied answers they provide in the case of any given representation. Richard Wollheim is Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic in the University of London and the author of F. H. Bradley, Socialism and Culture, Art and its Objects, Sigmund Freud, On Art and the Mind, and the novel, A Family Romance. He is currently working on a book dealing with pictorial style. In somewhat different form this paper was originally presented at the Annual Conference of the Developmental Section of the British Psychological Society, Surrey, 1976. The proceedings of that conference are published as The Child's Representation of the World, Plenum Press, 1977
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DOI 10.1086/447913
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