Basically, a simplistic approach to the whole thing would be to say we have three separate pieces to perception, we have what is being perceived (the environment and behavior), what is assembling the perception (the brain function), and what is recording the perception in our consciousness (perhaps emergent from brain function, or perhaps connected to by brain function). Of course these are not independent aspects, it is just a picture, which only leads to concrete results when specific approaches are selected to examine it. A cognitive science approach only allows us to look at the middle part, so that's where the focus is-- representational. The behavioral approach only sees the first part, so that's where the focus is-- nonrepresentational. So invoking where the third part gets into the picture doesn't seem to have anything to do with either representational or non-representational thinking-- we could tack that onto the results of behavioral analyses as easily as we could onto the results of brain scans.
I don't see any elements to the way a non-representational analysis would be undertaken that is inconsistent with a Faculty of Awareness at the end, because the non-representational approach is interested in what creates the behavior we observe, and has little or nothing to say about how the person generates an awareness, it merely defines the question away by saying "that which acts aware is aware". That's the classic example of what I mean by taking a projection-- we define what we are interested in, like a silhouette, and project the rest into oblivion. We must not then conclude that since our methods are blind to a particular aspect of the reality, that the reality does not contain that aspect-- yet this fallacy appears almost everywhere we see methods applied.Non-representational approaches are a reaction to this implied duality. They are attempts to make the person cognitively whole again.
In principle it requires everything that has happened since the Big Bang to make that happen. Shall we make cosmology mandatory for potential music critics?We look at a composer and for some reason refuse to believe that what we see before us can compose the wonderful work we just heard. We want to think, "Oh, the actual composition had to occur in some special place or Faculty inside him. The body we see simply transcribed the notes as they were produced." We need to remind ourselves once in a while that the person composes and it takes all of him, as well as his circumstances, to make that happen.
The value of taking projections is that we achieve a finer focus, the disadvantage is we have ignored something. This is always the case, and is just as true for behavioral approaches compared to physiological approaches compared to introspective approaches. To think that any of these projections is the whole story is as wrong as ruling out the contribution of any. I claim that the introspective view, leading to an image of a Faculty of Awareness, is what we used to define the basic terms we use, including "consciousness" itself. The cognitive science view is what we use to understand and treat pathologies in the process, and the behavioral approach is how we learn about the ramifications of consciousness on the larger context of society and life. They each afford benefits at the personal, medical, and societal levels, and no doubt a more complete view of cognition and consciousness comes from exposure to all three, and others too, including nonscientific avenues.
I'm not sure that isn't simply because the way you use the word "representation" doesn't have any meaning. Otherwise, it sounds like you are claiming that our ability to create environmentally-inspired mental images of things we have encountered is a "superfluous" ability, and of course you could not be saying something so obviously incorrect. The real question here, as I'm saying in as many ways as I can think of, is when does it behoove us to ask the question "what mental representation of reality is this person forming in this situation", versus asking "what parts of his/her brain is participating in this process and how", versus asking "how is this person interacting with that reality at this time". To everything, there is a season.Representations are typically superfluous and don't add anything we don't already know.
What if there are close connections between the two? What if the act of a brain generating measurable "endpoints" is related to the concept of "creating a copy" of reality? I think this is no happenstance connection between the words, to a very real extent they are talking about the same thing, the former is merely an informal picture we can use to stand in for the more specific correlates of the latter. The core issue is, how do we gain by separating the mind of the subject from its interactions with the environment including the whole social, societal, and cosmological context of what is happening.The term "representation" can lead to confusion because the term is used in two senses in these types of discussions. The first is at the personal level where "representation" means "what is seen, heard, or felt" as if what we see is a mental image, sound, or feeling of some sort, as if the brain must first make a copy of something in the world for its own perusal. The second sense of "representation" applies at the subpersonal or "wires and pulleys" level, where the scientist notes a correlation between, say, a light flashing in the lab and a neuron firing in the brain. Here the term "representation" properly applies because there are two identified endpoints for the relationship. When I recommend against the representational approach, I mean it in the first sense at the personal level.