Representational Kinds

In Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dołrega & Tobias Schlicht (eds.), What Are Mental Representations? New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press (2020)
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Many debates in philosophy focus on whether folk or scientific psychological notions pick out cognitive natural kinds. Examples include memory, emotions and concepts. A potentially interesting type of kind is: kinds of mental representations (as opposed, for example, to kinds of psychological faculties). In this chapter we outline a proposal for a theory of representational kinds in cognitive science. We argue that the explanatory role of representational kinds in scientific theories, in conjunction with a mainstream approach to explanation in cognitive science, suggest that representational kinds are multi-level. This is to say that representational kinds’ properties cluster at different levels of explanation and allow for intra- and inter-level projections.

Author Profiles

Joulia Smortchkova
University Of Oxford
Michael Murez
Université de Nantes


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