The structure of analog representation

Andrew Y. Lee, Joshua Myers, Gabriel Oak Rabin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper develops a theory of analog representation. We first argue that the mark of the analog is to be found in the nature of a representational system's interpretation function, rather than in its vehicles or contents alone. We then develop the rulebound structure theory of analog representation, according to which analog systems use interpretive rules that map syntactic structural features onto semantic structural features. The theory involves three degree-theoretic measures that capture three independent ways in which a system can be more or less analog. We explain how our theory improves upon prior accounts of analog representation, provides plausible diagnoses for novel challenge cases, extends to hybrid systems that are partially analog and partially symbolic, and accounts for some of the advantages and disadvantages of representing analogically versus symbolically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-237
Number of pages29
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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