Objects of Representation

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Leslie Stevenson


I distinguish four questions within Kant's "problem of reality": (1) What constitutes propositional content? (2) What constitutes truth? (3) What constitutes referential content? (4) What constitutes successful singular reference? I argue that Kant's transcendental idealism applies primarily to (3) - understood as: What makes some mental or linguistic items would-be referential representations - and secondly to (1). But with regard to (4) and (2), we do not create the objects and states of affairs in the world (there are human artifacts, of course, but most of them continue to exist quite independently of our representing activities). However the contents of our representations in (3) and (1) do depend crucially on our conventions and rules, which are almost always socially learned.


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How to Cite
Stevenson, Leslie. 2011. “Objects of Representation”. Diametros, no. 27 (March):4-24. https://doi.org/10.13153/diam.27.2011.425.
Special topic – Perspectives on Experience – Kant and Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
Author Biography

Leslie Stevenson, University of St. Andrews, UK

Leslie Stevenson Honorary Reader in Philosophy University of St. Andrews, UK
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