What is ‘Representation’? – a Debate Between Tyler Burge and John McDowell (with a Reference to Daniel Dennett)

Avant, Vol. XI, No. 2, doi: 10.26913/avant.2020.02.18
published under license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Sofia Miguens orcid-id
University of Porto – Portugal

Received 28 February 2019; accepted 30 January 2020; published Online First 23 December 2020*.
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Abstract: In this article I try to bring out the different conceptions of representation which lie behind Tyler Burge’s and John McDowell’s approaches to perceptual experience. As I go along I relate their motivations for defending (or attacking) disjunctivism to such conceptions of representation. In the case of McDowell I look at the origins of his position in his criticism of Daniel Dennett’s view of perception and consciousness in the 1980s-1990s. Further differences in the debate are traced back to diverging conceptions of the respective roles of philosophy and cognitive science when dealing with perception. Although it is not directly explored here, McDowell Kantian view of mind as active lies at the background of the dispute with Burge.

Keywords: perception; representation; judgement; Burge; McDowell


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