The many problems with S-representation (and how to solve them)


Cognitive science
Cognitive representation
Structural representation

How to Cite

Lee, J., & Calder, D. (2023). The many problems with S-representation (and how to solve them). Philosophy and the Mind Sciences, 4.


The structural representation (S-representation) account provides an increasingly popular way of understanding the role and value of representation in cognitive science. Yet critics remain unconvinced that the account has the resources to rescue representationalism. This paper reviews problems faced by the S-representation account. In doing so, it offers a novel taxonomy that divides objections into two broad camps that ought to be disambiguated: ‘conceptual’ and ‘empirical’. It further shows how these objections can be met, bolstering existing responses in the literature with novel solutions, thus strengthening the S-representation account. Finally, this paper suggests that the types of objections identified provide a generalisable taxonomy for a better understanding of any version of anti-representationalism. Thus, this review is of value to the representation debate more broadly.


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