The Representational Theory of Mind (RTM) holds that the mind is stocked with mental representations: mental items that represent. They can be stored in memory, manipulated during mental activity, and combined to form complex representations. RTM is widely presupposed within cognitive science, which offers many successful theories that cite mental representations. Nevertheless, mental representations are still viewed warily in some scientific and philosophical circles. Rescorla will develop a novel version of RTM, according to which a mental representation is an abstract type that marks the exercise of a representational capacity. Talk about mental representations is an ontologically loaded way of classifying mental states through representational capacities that the states deploy. Complex mental representations mark the appropriate joint exercise of multiple representational capacities. Rescorla will support his position with examples drawn from cognitive science, including perceptual representations and cognitive maps. He will apply his approach to longstanding debates over the existence, nature, individuation, structure, and explanatory role of mental representations.

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