Discrete thoughts: Why cognition must use discrete representations

Mind and Language 18 (1):95-119 (2003)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Advocates of dynamic systems have suggested that higher mental processes are based on continuous representations. In order to evaluate this claim, we first define the concept of representation, and rigorously distinguish between discrete representations and continuous representations. We also explore two important bases of representational content. Then, we present seven arguments that discrete representations are necessary for any system that must discriminate between two or more states. It follows that higher mental processes require discrete representations. We also argue that discrete representations are more influenced by conceptual role than continuous representations. We end by arguing that the presence of discrete representations in cognitive systems entails that computationalism (i.e., the view that the mind is a computational device) is true, and that cognitive science should embrace representational pluralism.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DIEDTW
Revision history
Archival date: 2014-07-02
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
How the Mind Works.Pinker, Steven
Vison.Marr, David

View all 41 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Embodied Cognition is Not What You Think It Is.Wilson, Andrew D. & Golonka, Sabrina
Homing in on Consciousness in the Nervous System: An Action-Based Synthesis.Morsella, Ezequiel; Godwin, Christine A.; Jantz, Tiffany K.; Krieger, Stephen C. & Gazzaley, Adam
Why We May Not Find Intentions in the Brain.Uithol, Sebo; Burnston, Daniel C. & Haselager, Pim
Explanatory Pluralism in Cognitive Science.Dale, Rick; Dietrich, Eric & Chemero, Anthony

View all 26 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
580 ( #6,426 of 48,755 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
25 ( #27,209 of 48,755 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.