The Relevance of Language for the Problem of Representation

In Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic & Raffaela Giovagnoli (eds.), Representation of Reality: Humans, Other Living Organism and Intelligent Machines. Heidelberg: Springer (2017)
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This chapter deals with the relationship between representation and language, which becomes more relevant if we do not intend the process of forming internal representations of reality but rather the representative function of language. Starting from some Fregean ideas, we present the notion of representation theorized by Searle. According to Searle, a belief is a “representation” that has a propositional content and a psychological mode: the propositional content or intentional content determines a set of conditions of satisfaction under certain aspects and the psychological mode determines the direction of fit of the propositional content. We draw attention to some very interesting ideas proposed by Brandom in response to the challenge of Searle to AI, as they propose formal aspects of representation that rely on the use of ordinary language while avoiding the psychological order of explanation.



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Raffaela Giovagnoli
Pontificia Università Lateranense

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