Perceptual Representation (Philosophy)

Philosophers and psychologists talk about perceptual states as representations. One of the most important questions in the philosophy of perception is whether and in what sense could perceptual states be considered representations. A further crucial question is in what way perceptual representations are different from nonperceptual mental representations, such as beliefs or thoughts. These questions about representations will be discussed in this entry.


There are various kinds of representation. Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa represents a woman: It is a pictorial representation. If you are thinking about Paris, your thought represents Paris: It is a mental representation. Representations refer to things that may be far away (like Paris) or that may not even exist (or, does not exist any more, like the sitter of Mona Lisa). ...

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