Colloquium de l’IJN

A Taxonomy of Representational Artifacts

Informations pratiques
09 décembre 2022

ENS, Institut Jean Nicod, conference room Pavillon Jardin, 75005 Paris


I conceive of a representational artifact as an artifact that has the primary function of eliciting a twofold representational mental state from its audience. I borrow the notion of primary function from the ontology of artifacts, and the notion of representational mental state from the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. The first fold (VF) of the elicited mental state is about the artifact as a representational vehicle while the other (RF) is about what is represented. By analyzing VF and RF and their relationship, I will draw the distinction between linguistic and depictive artifacts, and I will carve the category of depictive artifact at its joints. I will then consider hybrid cases and I will introduce other relevant distinction such as still/temporal and fiction/nonfiction. Finally, I will show the advantages of my proposal compared with the philosophical taxonomies of representational artifacts proposed by Peirce, Walton and Heersmink.

2022-2023 Nicod Philosophy Colloquium

Slots for external participants are limited. If you’d like to attend a session, please send an email about one week before that session to Denis Buehler.