Chapter

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199581405.003.0008
Biological and Methodological Backgrounds

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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

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