Carlotta Pavese on The Psychological Reality of Practical Representation

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The Psychological Reality of Practical Representation

Carlotta Pavese
(Cornell University)

20 December 2019
at h 15-17 Greenwhich Mean Time
(Convert to your local time here)

Abstract.​ We represent the world in a variety of ways: through percepts, concepts, propositional attitudes, words, numerals, recordings, musical scores, photographs, diagrams, mimetic paintings, etc. Some of these representations are mental. It is customary for philosophers to distinguish two main kinds of mental representations: perceptual representation (e.g., vision, auditory, tactile) and conceptual representation. This essay presupposes a version of this dichotomy and explores the way in which a further kind of representation – procedural representation – represents. It is argued that, in some important respects, procedural representations represent differently from both purely conceptual representations and purely perceptual representations. Although procedural representations, just like conceptual and perceptual representations, involve modes of presentation, their modes of presentation are distinctively practical, in a sense which I will clarify. It is argued that an understanding of this sort of practical representation has important consequences for the debate on the nature of know-how.

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