VI—Exploitable Isomorphism and Structural Representation


  • Meeting of the Aristotelian Society held at Senate House, University of London, on 13 January 2014 at 5:30 p.m.


An interesting feature of some sets of representations is that their structure mirrors the structure of the items they represent. Founding an account of representational content on isomorphism, homomorphism or structural resemblance has proven elusive, however, largely because these relations are too liberal when the candidate structure over representational vehicles is unconstrained. Furthermore, in many cases where there is a clear isomorphism, it is not relied on in the way the representations are used. That points to a potential resolution: that an isomorphism must be used, hence usable, if it is to be an ingredient in a theory of content. This paper argues that the class of exploitable isomorphisms can indeed play a content-constituting role.