Representation

'Representation' can refer to a symbol or thing which represents ('refers to', 'stands for') something else, or it can refer to the relation between a representation (in the sense just described) and what it represents. In either case, there are many kinds of representation. For instance, there are linguistic forms of representation (as exemplified by the words in this sentence) and nonlinguistic forms of representation (as exemplified by maps and models). General questions about representation focus on the nature of the relation between a representation and what it represents, features which distinguish representations from other, nonrepresentational items and features which distinguish different kinds of representation. Questions about representation which arise in connection with mental states and cognition involve the representational nature of imagery (is it more picture-like or language-like?), the creative use of representational systems, and the relationship between language and thought. These questions are of particular concern for computational models of mind, which require that mental representation be in a form suitable for computation.

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