Slezak P. P. (2002). The tripartite model of representation. Philosophical Psychology, 15, 239 - 270. doi:10.1080/0951508021000006085
Robert Cummins [(1996) Representations, targets and attitudes, Cambridge, MA: Bradford/MIT, p. 1] has characterized the vexed problem of mental representation as “the topic in the philosophy of mind for some time now.” This remark is something of an understatement. The same topic was central to the famous controversy between Nicolas Malebranche and Antoine Arnauld in the 17th century and remained central to the entire philosophical tradition of “ideas” in the writings of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid and Kant. However, the scholarly, exegetical literature has almost no overlap with that of contemporary cognitive science. I show that the recurrence of certain deep perplexities about the mind is a systematic and pervasive pattern arising not only throughout history, but also in a number of independent domains today such as debates over visual imagery, symbolic systems and others. Such historical and contemporary convergences suggest that the fundamental issues cannot arise essentially from the theoretical guise they take in any particular case.
[Citing Place (1956)]  
Citing Place (1956) in context (citations start with an asterisk *):
Section The tripartite schema
* In a recent article, Bechtel (1998, p. 299) states the essentials of a modern theory of representation: “There are … three interrelated components in a representational story: what is represented, the representation, and the user of the representation.”
  Z: System Using Y->Y: Representation->X: Thing Represented
Bechtel’s schema articulates a tripartite conception of ideas as representatives intervening between the mind and the world. As we will see, among the problematic assumptions, Bechtel’s diagram (modified here) and discussion crucially fail to distinguish internal and external representations (see Abell & Currie, 1999). Importantly, Bechtel’s conception in this regard is not idiosyncratic, but accurately reflects an almost universal conception in cognitive science (Dennett, 1978a; Lloyd, forthcoming; Newell, 1986, p. 33; Rumelhart & Norman, 1983). As we will note presently, the same tripartite conception in the case of the pictorial theory of images inherently involves the same assimilation of internal and external representations, and thereby encourages the illegitimate postulate of a user or external observer—the notorious homunculus. I will suggest that the same tacit assimilation of external and internal representations is at the heart of Searle’s (1980) “refutation” of symbolic AI and also leads to the doctrine that we think “in” language (Carruthers, 1996; Slezak, 2002). The assimilation just noted in Bechtel will also be seen in the seemingly unrelated problem of consciousness and the mind–body problem (Place, 1956). The tripartite scheme appears obvious and innocuous enough, though it has been remarkably fraught with difficulties. Indeed, the inescapability and ubiquity of this picture in one form or another is apparent from the fact that Bechtel’s diagram is a variant of the scheme which we see throughout the long history of the subject.
Section Phenomenological fallacy
* Kosslyn claims to have clinched the debate about imagery by appealing to the findings of neurophysiology and neuroanatomy [14]. Topographically organized regions of cortex or “retinotopic mapping” are said to “support depictive representations,” that is, pictures in some sense. Thus, for example, a monkey may be given a visual stimulus like a dartboard to look at. If the brain tissue is treated in a certain way, it can be shown to have a likeness of the dartboard “etched” on the cortex. The result was anticipated and perfectly understood by one psychologist 30 years before:
At some point the organism must do more than create duplicates … The need for something beyond and quite different from copying is not widely understood. Suppose someone were to coat the occipital lobes of the brain with a special photographic emulsion which, when developed, yielded a reasonable copy of a current visual stimulus In many quarters this would be regarded as a triumph in the physiology of vision. Yet nothing could be more disastrous … (Skinner, 1963, p. 285)
Skinner was acutely sensitive to the source of homunculi pseudo-explanations even if his behaviorist remedy is no longer attractive.
Kosslyn’s TV screen metaphor reveals the link between seemingly unrelated problems in cognitive science. For example, in the classic statement of materialism, U.T. Place (1956) argued that the implausibility and rejection of materialism as a solution to the mind–body problem is based on the qualitative features of subjective experience. Although these features have recently been supposed to constitute the “hard” problem of consciousness (Chalmers, 1996), Place suggested that they are the source of the “phenomenological fallacy.” Anticipating Dennett (1991), Place wrote, this is “the mistake of supposing that when the subject describes his experience, how things look, sound, smell, taste, or feel to him, he is describing the literal properties of objects and events on a particular sort of internal cinema or television screen.”