Philosophical conceptions of representation developed by Nelson Goodman and Charles Sanders Peirce come from different metaphysical positions (Goodman’s nominalism and Peirce’s realism). This fact causes serious problems when comparing both conceptions and often results in inaccuracies or oversimplifications. The aim of this paper is to find a framework for the comparison of the two conceptions of representation and consider their possible role in understanding representation as a source of knowledge. The first and the second part of the paper shortly introduce Peirce’s and Goodman’s conceptions of representation. Subsequently, a comparison of these conceptions is proposed in the context of limits of our representations. The limits of representations are suggested as a basis for further comparison without the need to reject one of the conceptions. The conclusion outlines some consequences of this approach for the analysis of representations as a source of knowledge.
Charles Sanders Peirce, Comparison, Nelson Goodman, Representation, The limits of representation