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date: 22 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article aims to explore a pattern of reasoning about language and thought that seems to virtually guarantee a distortion of what precisely constitutes thinking. The guiding idea is a simple one, an idea officially embraced by many philosophers, but an idea the implications of which are too easily neglected. The article states a belief in the thesis that something functions as a representation only in so far as it is given a use by a representing agent. This thesis — that representation requires a representing agent — applies in equal measure to non-linguistic ‘pictorial’ and to linguistic representations.

Keywords: language and thought, representation, representing agent, linguistic representations, conscious thinking, non-linguistic thoughts

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