Biological and Methodological Backgrounds

Tyler Burge

in Origins of Objectivity

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199581405
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723223 | DOI:
Biological and Methodological Backgrounds

Show Summary Details


This chapter sets the stage for distinguishing the distinctively psychological kind representation from broader kinds (often also called ‘representation’) shared by psychology with biology. It argues for a use for the (or a) notion representation that is distinctive to psychology. By focusing on actual explanation in science, it roughs out one border of a psychological kind, representation. It argues that certain psychological explanations are not special cases of biological explanations. Psychological explanations have a distinct explanatory paradigm. Psychology depends on there being systematic, functional pre-representational causal relations with the environment. But it discovers its own kinds. One of them is the kind representation. The chapter also develops a specific conception of perception that indicates a significant, explanatorily relevant kind. It concludes with examples of explanation in perceptual psychology that are distinctive of psychology and that invoke the kinds representation and perception.

Keywords: representation; psychology; biology; perception

Chapter.  38034 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.