Representation as the Representation of Experience

Metaphilosophy 31 (1-2):148-168 (2000)
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Abstract

This essay deals, mainly, with the notion of representation. Representation is associated with texts and, as such, is contrasted to the true singular statement. It is argued that the relationship between the text and what the text represents can never be modeled on the relationship between a true singular statement and what the statement is true of, and, furthermore, that the former relationship is aesthetic while the latter is epistemological in nature. This aesthetic relationship between the represented and its representation is investigated from the perspective of historical writing. This offers an interesting perspective because historical texts are representations, but they also aim at giving us “the truth” about the past. Historical representation, therefore, is the kind of representation coming closest to the cognitive claims traditionally investigated by epistemology. The notion of aesthetic and historical experience is explored in order to define the relationship between historical representation and what it represents

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