Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception Institut Neurosciences Cognition Université Paris Descartes Centre National de Recherche Scientifique
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Representation-hunger reconsidered

According to a standard representationalist view cognitive capacities depend on internal content-carrying states. Recent alternatives to this view have been met with the reaction that they have, at best, limited scope, because a large range of cognitive phenomena —those involving absent and abstract features— require representational explanations. Here we challenge the idea that the consideration of cognition regarding the absent and the abstract can move the debate about representationalism along. Whether or not cognition involving the absent and the abstract requires the positing of representations depends upon whether more basic forms of cognition require the positing of representations.