This book focuses on how we should treat philosophy’s theoretical representations. It argues in favor of an instrumentalist attitude towards pivotal cases of theoretical representation in philosophy that are commonly regarded under a realist attitude.

Philosophy is awash with theoretical representations, which raises the question of how we should regard them. This book argues that representations in philosophy should not be regarded under a realist attitude by default as individually disclosing the nature of what they represent. Ori Simchen introduces the reader to the general theme of representations in philosophy and our attitudes towards them via case studies: numbers, modality, and belief. He offers a framework for deciding when a realist attitude towards a theoretical representation is warranted and concludes that the representations deployed in the case studies fail the proposed test. The next part of the book illustrates the attractiveness of attitudinal instrumentalism towards representations in semantics, in the philosophy of mind, and within the problematics of rule-following.

Philosophical Representation will appeal to researchers and advanced students working in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, philosophical logic, and philosophical methodology.


1. Philosophical Explanation

2. Justified Attitudinal Realism

3. Attitudinal Instrumentalism in Semantics

4. Semantics and Ordinary Language

5. Propositions and What is Said

6. The Content Program

7. Rules and Representation