Depictive Structure?

Philosophical Papers 40 (1):1-25 (2011)
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This paper argues against definitions of depiction in terms of the syntactic and semantic properties of symbol systems. In particular, it is argued that John Kulvicki's definition of depictive symbol systems in terms of relative repleteness, semantic richness, syntactic sensitivity and transparency is susceptible to similar counterexamples as Nelson Goodman's in terms of syntactic density, semantic density and relative repleteness. The general moral drawn is that defining depiction requires attention not merely to descriptive questions about syntax and semantics, but also to foundational questions about what makes it the case that depictions have the syntactic and semantic properties they do.
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