What Makes a Bunch of Marks a Diagrammatic Representation, and Another Bunch a Sentential Representation?

B. Chandrasekaran

While much has been written on the difference between diagrammatic and sentential representations (sometimes also called propositional or symbolic representations), the explanations don’t address the fact that, when viewed as marks on paper, interpreting the marks in both cases involves use of visual perception that takes account of the spatial arrangement of marks. This paper takes account of the sense in which both sentential representations and those that are generally taken to be diagrams are indeed diagrams but of different things. This paper locates the different roles played by the causality of the physical 2-D space in providing support for the representations.

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