Abstract- Picturing Uncertainty: From Representation to Mental Representation

Recently, the philosopher Galen Strawson suggested that there has been an over-emphais on narrative in the construction of self, at the expense of non-narrative constructions – evident in writers such as Montaigne, Proust and Pound. Moreover, he argues that this narrative explanation of our sense of subjectivity dominates academic disciplines across the board-including anthropology, psychology, literary studies and legal studies. I want to amplify his insight and take it in another direction. The history and theory of images has long recognized the distinction between illusionizing and chunk-like perceptions of our inner and outer reality. I want to use this important stylistic/formal distinction to think about the current shift, driven by discoveries coming from the brain sciences, from the Aristotelian, mimetic notion of representation to a non-imagistic notion of mental representation. Further I will mobilize the latter to propose that it allows us to deal with one of the major intellectual problems of our times, namely, the accurate depiction of uncertainty.