Arthur B. Markman (1998) In Defense of Representation as Mediation . Psycoloquy: 9(48) Representation Mediation (1)
Versions: ASCII formatted
Psycoloquy 9(48): In Defense of Representation as Mediation

Target Article by Markman and Dietrich on Representation Mediation

Arthur B. Markman
Department of Psychology
University of Texas
Austin, TX 78712

Eric Dietrich
PACCS Program in Philosophy
Binghamton University
Binghamton, NY


Some cognitive scientists have asserted that cognitive processing is not well modeled by classical notions of representation and process that have dominated psychology and artificial intelligence since the cognitive revolution. In response to this claim, the concept of a mediating state is developed. Mediating states are the class of information-carrying internal states used by cognitive systems, and as such are accepted even by those researchers who reject representations. The debate over representation, then, is actually one about what additional properties of mediating states are necessary for explaining cognitive processing. Five properties that can be added to mediating states are examined for their importance in cognitive models.


compositionality, computation, connectionism, discrete states, dynamic Systems, explanation, information, meaning, mediating states, representation, rules, semantic Content symbols