Synthese 198 (Suppl 1):267-284 (2019)

Despite the gaining popularity of non-representationalist approaches to cognition, it is still a widespread assumption in contemporary cognitive science that the explanatory reach of representation-eschewing approaches is substantially limited. Nowadays, many working in the field accept that we do not need to invoke internal representations for the explanation of online forms of cognition. However, when it comes to explaining higher, offline forms of cognition, it is widely believed that we must fall back on internal-representation-invoking theories. In this paper, I want to argue that, contrary to popular belief, we don’t yet have any compelling reason for assuming that non-representationalist theories are, as a matter of necessity, limited in scope. I will show that Clark and Toribio’s influential argument in terms of ‘representation-hungry’ cognition is, for various reasons, flawed. On closer inspection, we’ll see that the argument from representation-hunger is, on the one hand, built on an inconsistent notion of representation and, on the other hand, on a conflation of the explanandum with the explanans. I will suggest that, on closer inspection, the ARH seems to be getting its appeal mainly from the unscientific principle that “like causes like”.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02277-8
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References found in this work BETA

The Bounds of Cognition.Frederick Adams & Kenneth Aizawa - 2008 - Malden, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Representation Reconsidered.William M. Ramsey - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.

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