Offers a new understanding of representational cognition that synthesizes postwar philosophical approaches to the question of objective knowledge
This study develops a novel account of representational cognition, explaining how cognitive systems progressively come to map the structure of their worlds. Daniel Sacilotto offers a constructive response to the critique of representation formulated throughout the post‑Kantian philosophical tradition. Rather than a skepticism or idealism whereby thinking can grasp appearances but never the real, representation, Sacilotto shows, is a constitutive dimension of cognitive systems’ creative capacity to know and intervene in the world of which they are part.
Structure and Thought: Toward a Materialist Theory of Representational Cognition integrates various lines in contemporary philosophy, including those often seen as incommensurable or in irresolvable tension with one another. Sacilotto thus advances a productive synthesis of a materialist ambition to provide a creative and historical understanding of cognition with a structural realist account of representation. He shows how the different forms of sensory, discursive, and theoretical mediation that characterize human cognition are conducive to a realist epistemological framework that explains how the possibility of knowledge about a mind‑independent reality is conceivable.
Foreword, by Ray Brassier Introduction – The Kantian Shadow Part 1. Post-Critical Structuralist Materialisms and the Critique of Representation Chapter I – The Heraclitean Empiricists: Experience Against the Concept Chapter II – The Parmenidean Rationalists I: Formalization Against Experience Chapter III - The Parmenidean Rationalists II: Puncturing the Circle of Correlation Part 2. Structural Representational Realism Chapter IV - The Return to the Abyss: A Promethean Kant Chapter V – Thinking Between the Empirical and Transcendental: Function, Computation, and Information Chapter VI - A Thought Disincarnate: A Pragmatic Cognitive Hierarchy of Representational Cognition Chapter VII – On Natural Reason: The Dialectics of Revision and Integration Works Cited Endnotes
DANIEL SACILOTTO is a professor of critical studies at the California Institute of the Arts.
RAY BRASSIER is a professor of philosophy at the American University of Beirut.
"I know of no other work with the sheer scope of this one. The range of ideas on display, and their synthesis into one narrative, is astonishing, sometimes even dizzying." —Danielle Macbeth, author of Realizing Reason: A Narrative of Truth and Knowing
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