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Neurophilosophy

  • Richard A. Watson
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 250)

Abstract

Let me recapitulate. I am exploring in Western philosophy the thesis that resemblance is the ground of representation. It is critical in Plato’s theory of Ideas, in Aristotle’s theory of Forms, in the Cartesian way of ideas, and in Wittgenstein’s picture theory of language. The most sustained argument against this thesis is Goodman’s attempt to construct representation that does not depend on resemblance. And as he is the first to point out, the establishment of a formally constructed system depends on how well it fulfils its purpose. I do not object in principle to Goodman’s decreeing that denotation does not involve resemblance, but I do find that his formalization does not capture the essence of representation. I present arguments against Goodman’s position, but if it seems obvious to someone that despite these arguments, resemblance does not necessarily play a role in representation, then all I can do is try to show that it does. I give simple examples, I explain how Goodman systematically ignores the ubiquity of resemblance, and I challenge the sceptic to conceive of a case where resemblance does not play a role in representation.

Keywords

Mental Imagery Propositional Attitude Picture Theory World Affair Tensor Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Patricia Smith Churchland, Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind/Brain (Cambridge: Bradford Books/MIT Press, 1986), p. 2.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Watson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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