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Two kinds of information processing in cognition

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Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Philosophy and Psychology
Early online date17 May 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 May 2019


What is the relationship between information and representation? Dating back at least to Dretske (1981), an influential answer has been that information is a rung on a ladder that gets one to representation. Representation is information, or representation is information plus some other ingredient. In this paper, I argue that this approach oversimplifies the relationship between information and representation. If one takes current probabilistic models of cognition seriously, information is connected to representation in a new way. It enters as a property of the represented content as well as a property of the vehicles that carry that content. This offers a new, conceptually and logically distinct way in which information and representation are intertwined in cognition.

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