Architecture in Combination with Representation, April 8th. @ 5:30pm

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Dr. Chakravartty has kindly provided some words on the upcoming session:
 
Architecture in Combination with Representation
 
Picasso’s mural Guernica represents the aftermath of the bombing of a Basque town during the Spanish Civil War. Watson and Crick’s cardboard cut-out model of DNA represents the double-helical structure of the molecule. The Gothic arch represents the spiritual aspiration of reaching towards the heavens. Examples such as these are ubiquitous, and my aim is to step back from them so as to ask a philosophical question about representing: what *is* a representation, precisely, such that all of these examples count as instances of it? Are there conditions that are necessary or sufficient to make one thing a representation of something else, and are these conditions shared across different domains of human endeavour such as art, science, and architecture? I will review some proposals for how representation should be understood, with the goal of shedding light on these questions. Some of the issues raised concern whether intuitive relations such as similarity or mathematical ones such as isomorphism are required, whether the emphasis should rather be on the cognitive activities we perform in connection with representations as they relate to the things they represent, such as interpretation and inference, and how matters are complicated by the ways in which representations abstract from and idealize their subject matter.

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