This Is Not a Pipe

From: Rowe Anna (
Date: Thu May 23 1996 - 16:41:07 BST

3rd assignment. Discuss: This is not a pipe.

A representation is signs or symbols that stand for something in the
absence of that "thing". There are external and internal (mental)
representations. External representations are words and pictures. Take
for example a picture of a pipe and the words underneath saying "this
is not a pipe". There is no relationship between the words and the pipe
but there is between the picture and an actual pipe. If there was
writing describing the pipe, this would be related to an actual pipe.
But there is a closer relationship between the picture and an actual
pipe because its structure resembles the structure of the real thing
(analogical) showing spatial positions, and you would need more
information in a sentance to give an exact description. Linguistic
representations are not analogical because the relationship between a
linguistic symbol and what it represents is arbitrary. The differences
between external representations and the properties of each have been
parallelled to mental representations,with anological (image) mental
representations parallelled to external pictures and propositions
(language-like mental sentance) to words, to see how information is
represented in the mind when one experiences visual mental imagery.
They both stand for the real object/thing. Propositions can be true or
false. Taking the picture of the pipe and the statement "this is not a
pipe", it is a self- denial paradox. Because it is a picture of a pipe,
the statement is false. Therefore the statement is true. So if it is
true that the statement is false, then it is definitely false.
Images are not true or false. An image just is. The types of mental
representation have produced much discussion and form the first phase
of the imagery debate.

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