Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

The Philosophy of Hybrid Representations

Duration: 2021 - 2024

Code: PID2020-119588GB-I00

All researchers

Manuel García-Carpintero (U. Barcelona)
Teresa Marques (U. Barcelona)


Some representations are prima facie hybrids. By ‘representations’ we refer to activities such as linguistic speech acts, communicative acts in different media, the products of such activities, and the mental states or attitudes that these activities and their products typically express or aim to produce. Examples of hybrid representations include: thick ethical concepts, as introduced by Bernard Williams; pejoratives, or slurs, used to express contempt regarding a group of people, and also to classify someone in that group; affective attitudes, such as pain, aesthetic pleasure, anger, or, indeed, contempt, which dispose their subjects to behave in specific ways, but also represent the situations or conditions that prompt such dispositions to behavior; fictions which include assertions that also shape the character of the fictional world that the work presents for us to imagine. Now, even though examples like these – which we have investigated in previous projects – suggest that the category of hybrid representations may be widespread among representational or intentional states, philosophers have in general focused on cognitively, straightforwardly truth-conditional or thetic representations, those with a mind-to-world direction of fit; some have even tried to reduce all representations to them. Our purpose in this project is to explore the phenomenon of hybrid representations more systematically, so that we might address the following three questions: (a) How are hybrid representations integrated? (b) Does a proper account of hybrid representations require disentangling them? (c) If not, what does this tell us about the nature of representations in general?