Are minimal representations still representations?

Shaun Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


I examine the following question: Do actions require representations that
are intrinsic to the action itself? Recent work by Mark Rowlands, Michael Wheeler, and Andy Clark suggests that actions may require a minimal form of representation. I argue that the various concepts of minimal representation on offer do not apply to action per se and that a non-representationalist account that focuses on dynamic systems of self-organizing continuous reciprocal causation at the sub-personal level is superior. I further recommend a scientific pragmatism regarding the concept of representation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-69
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • action
  • action oriented representation
  • decoupleability
  • pre-intentional act
  • dynamic systems


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