Searle on Representation: a Relation between Language and Consciousness

Ranjan K. Panda


In this paper, we propose to examine the nature of representation discussed by
John Searle. Representation is intentional and is having two aspects: the mental
and the linguistic. The naturalists maintain the primacy of mental
representation. Searle though advocates that linguistic representation is
derived from mental representation, still he differs from the other naturalists
like Chomsky and Fodor who uphold that mental representation is syntactical in
character and can be causally reducible to the neural processes of the brain.
Searle contests this reductionism and argues that the content of representation
is semantic, rather than being syntactic. The effort here is to highlight the
semantic representation and show how human life is language centric.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy;

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