Artificial intelligence and philosophy: The knowledge of representation

Marcelo Dascal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Philosophy has recently witnessed a radical critique of the epistemological tradition centered on the notion of representation. It is here argued that such a critique is relevant to the current endeavors of Artificial Intelligence, both in its broad (i.e. as an attempt to elucidate human cognitive capacities) and narrow (i.e. as a practical concern to develop ‘intelligent’ systems, e.g. expert systems) definitions. It is shown that many of the recurrent problems faced by AI researchers stem from their espousal of the old paradigm conceptions of ‘knowledge’, ‘understanding’, ‘justification’, and the like. Some suggestions concerning a possible alternative for such conceptions are made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalSystems Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Artificial intelligence
  • context‐dependency
  • epistemology
  • expert systems justification
  • imputation
  • inference, defeasible rules
  • knowledge
  • philosophy
  • pragmatics
  • representation


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