Individual Representationalism after Mid‐Century: Preliminaries

Tyler Burge

in Origins of Objectivity

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199581405
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723223 | DOI:
Individual Representationalism after Mid‐Century: Preliminaries

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This chapter focuses on relations between second-family Individual Representationalism and other standpoints that either reinforced it or began to undermine it. Sense-data theory was the prevailing form of Individual Representationalism in mainstream philosophy during the first half of the 20th century. By the early 1950s, the influence of sense-data theory was fast evaporating. Sense-data theories did not influence subsequent philosophizing except negatively. Apart from their departures from common sense, sense-data approaches were rejected on two main grounds: they were criticized as subjectivistic and atomistic. Philosophical work at mid-century took on a more realist, more objectivist flavour. It emphasized dependence on context, public availability of expression, and interlocking psychological capacities that make cognition and language use possible. Many philosophers insisted on a role for language even in perception and the simplest perception-based thought.

Keywords: individual representationalism; logical positivism; behaviourism; descriptivism; sense-data theory

Chapter.  8029 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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