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The Nonconceptual Content of Experience

In The Contents of Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 136-57 (1992)

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  1. What Is the Problem of Perception?Tim Crane - 2005 - Synthesis Philosophica 20 (2):237-264.
    What is the distinctively philosophical problem of perception? Here it is argued that it is the conflict between the nature of perceptual experience as it intuitively seems to us, and certain possibilities which are implicit in the very idea of experience: possibilities of illusion and to the world' which involves direct awareness of existing objects and their properties. But if one can have an experience of the same kind without the object being there -- a hallucination of an object -- (...)
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  • Particular Thoughts & Singular Thought.M. G. F. Martin - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 51:173-214.
    A long-standing theme in discussion of perception and thought has been that our primary cognitive contact with individual objects and events in the world derives from our perceptual contact with them. When I look at a duck in front of me, I am not merely presented with the fact that there is at least one duck in the area, rather I seem to be presented with this thing in front of me, which looks to me to be a duck. Furthermore, (...)
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  • In What Sense Are Emotions Evaluations?Fabrice Teroni & Julien A. Deonna - 2014 - In Cain Todd & Sabine Roeser (eds.), Emotion and Value. Oxford University Press. pp. 15-31.
    In this chapter, we first introduce the idea that emotions are evaluations. Next, we explore two approaches attempting to account for this idea in terms of attitudes that are alleged to become emotional when taking evaluative contents. According to the first approach, emotions are evaluative judgments. According to the second, emotions are perceptual experiences of evaluative properties. We explain why this theory remains unsatisfactory insofar as it shares with the evaluative judgement theory the idea that emotions are evaluations in virtue (...)
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  • Is There a Perceptual Relation?Tim Crane - 2006 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experiences. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 126-146.
    P.F. Strawson argued that ‘mature sensible experience (in general) presents itself as … an immediate consciousness of the existence of things outside us’ (1979: 97). He began his defence of this very natural idea by asking how someone might typically give a description of their current visual experience, and offered this example of such a description: ‘I see the red light of the setting sun filtering through the black and thickly clustered branches of the elms; I see the dappled deer (...)
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  • Kant on Perception: Naive Realism, Non-Conceptualism, and the B-Deduction.Anil Gomes - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):1-19.
    According to non-conceptualist interpretations, Kant held that the application of concepts is not necessary for perceptual experience. Some have motivated non-conceptualism by noting the affinities between Kant's account of perception and contemporary relational theories of perception. In this paper I argue (i) that non-conceptualism cannot provide an account of the Transcendental Deduction and thus ought to be rejected; and (ii) that this has no bearing on the issue of whether Kant endorsed a relational account of perceptual experience.
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  • Pictures Have Propositional Content.Alex Grzankowski - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (1):151-163.
    Although philosophers of art and aesthetics regularly appeal to a notion of ‘pictorial content’, there is little agreement over its nature. The present paper argues that pictures have propositional contents. This conclusion is reached by considering a style of argument having to do with the phenomenon of negation intended to show that pictures must have some kind of non-propositional content. I first offer reasons for thinking that arguments of that type fail. Second, I show that when properly understood, such arguments (...)
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  • Husserl, Impure Intentionalism, and Sensory Awareness.Corijn Van Mazijk - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-19.
    Recent philosophy of mind has seen an increase of interest in theories of intentionality in offering a functional account of mental states. The standard intentionalist view holds that mental states can be exhaustively accounted for in terms of their representational contents. An alternative view proposed by Tim Crane, called impure intentionalism, specifies mental states in terms of intentional content, mode, and object. This view is also suggested to hold for states of sensory awareness. This paper primarily develops an alternative to (...)
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  • Some Reflections on Husserlian Intentionality, Intentionalism, and Non-Propositional Contents.Corijn van Mazijk - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):499-517.
    This paper discusses Husserl’s theory of intentionality and compares it to contemporary debates about intentionalism. I first show to what extent such a comparison could be meaningful. I then outline the structure of intentionality as found in Ideas I. My main claims are that – in contrast with intentionalism – intentionality for Husserl covers just a region of conscious contents; that it is essentially a relation between act-processes and presented content; and that the side of act-processes contains non-representational contents. In (...)
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  • Phenomenological Approaches to Non-Conceptual Content.Corijn Van Mazijk - 2017 - HORIZON. Studies in Phenomenology 6 (1):58-78.
    Over the past years McDowell’s conceptualist theory has received mixed phenomenological reviews. Some phenomenologists have claimed that conceptualism involves an over-intellectualization of human experience. Others have drawn on Husserl’s work, arguing that Husserl’s theory of fulfillment challenges conceptualism and that his notion of “real content” is non-conceptual. Still others, by contrast, hold that Husserl’s later phenomenology is in fundamental agreement with McDowell’s theory of conceptually informed experience. So who is right? This paper purports to show that phenomenology does not have (...)
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  • Naïve Realism in Kantian Phrase.Anil Gomes - 2017 - Mind 126 (502):529-578.
    Early twentieth-century philosophers of perception presented their naïve realist views of perceptual experience in anti-Kantian terms. For they took naïve realism about perceptual experience to be incompatible with Kant’s claims about the way the understanding is necessarily involved in perceptual consciousness. This essay seeks to situate a naïve realist account of visual experience within a recognisably Kantian framework by arguing that a naïve realist account of visual experience is compatible with the claim that the understanding is necessarily involved in the (...)
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  • Emotion and Action.Elisabeth Pacherie - 2002 - European Review of Philosophy 5:55-90.
    The purpose of this paper is to explore the question whether and in what sense emotions might be said to provide reasons for actions or to rationalize them. This requires that one have a picture of the causal structure of actions that is sufficiently detailed for one to see how emotions can impinge on the proc-ess of action production. I present a two-tiered model of action explanation and try to exploit this model in a tentative account of the modes of (...)
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  • Too Much Ado About Belief.Jérôme Dokic & Elisabeth Pacherie - 2007 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (1-2):185-200.
    Three commitments guide Dennett’s approach to the study of consciousness. First, an ontological commitment to materialist monism. Second, a methodological commitment to what he calls ‘heterophenomenology.’ Third, a ‘doxological’ commitment that can be expressed as the view that there is no room for a distinction between a subject’s beliefs about how things seem to her and what things actually seem to her, or, to put it otherwise, as the view that there is no room for a reality/appearance distinction for consciousness. (...)
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  • The Irrational in the Rational, Or: John McDowell’s Dialectic of Enlightenment.Tom Whyman - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    ABSTRACTPost-Kantian philosophers typically hold there to be a coincidence between reason and freedom. In this paper, I question their ability to secure this coincidence. I do so in particular by e...
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  • The Skeptic's Dogmatism: A Constructive Response to the Skeptical Problem.Kaplan Levent Hasanoglu - 2011 - Dissertation,
    The problem of philosophical skepticism relates to the difficulty involved in underwriting the claim that we know anything of spatio-temporal reality. It is often claimed, in fact, that proper philosophical scrutiny reveals quite the opposite from what common sense suggests. Knowledge of external reality is thought to be even quite obviously denied to us as a result of the alleged fact that we all fail to know that certain skeptical scenarios do not obtain. A skeptical scenario is one in which (...)
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  • Modular Architectures and Informational Encapsulation: A Dilemma.Dustin Stokes & Vincent Bergeron - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):315-38.
    Amongst philosophers and cognitive scientists, modularity remains a popular choice for an architecture of the human mind, primarily because of the supposed explanatory value of this approach. Modular architectures can vary both with respect to the strength of the notion of modularity and the scope of the modularity of mind. We propose a dilemma for modular architectures, no matter how these architectures vary along these two dimensions. First, if a modular architecture commits to the informational encapsulation of modules, as it (...)
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  • Perceptual Content is Vertically Articulate.John Kulvicki - 2007 - American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (4):357-369.
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  • Nonconceptualism or De Re Sense? A New Reading of Kantian Intuition.Roberto Sá Pereira - 2017 - Abstracta 10.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a critically review the recent nonconceptualist reading of the Kantian notion of sensible intuition. I raise two main objections. First, nonconceptualist readers fail to distinguish connected but different anti-intellectualist claims in the contemporary philosophy of mind and language. Second, I will argue that nonconceptual readings fail because Kantian intuitions do not possess a representational content of their own that can be veridical or falsidical in a similar way to how the content of (...)
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  • Empfindungen–Skizze eines nicht-reduktiven, holistischen Verständnisses.Jan Slaby - 2007 - Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 32 (3):207-225.
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  • Embodying the Mind by Extending It.Pierre Jacob - 2012 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (1):33-51.
    To subscribe to the embodied mind (or embodiment) framework is to reject the view that an individual’s mind is realized by her brain alone. As Clark ( 2008a ) has argued, there are two ways to subscribe to embodiment: bodycentrism (BC) and the extended mind (EM) thesis. According to BC, an embodied mind is a two-place relation between an individual’s brain and her non-neural bodily anatomy. According to EM, an embodied mind is a threeplace relation between an individual’s brain, her (...)
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  • Shades and Concepts.J. Dokic & E. Pacherie - 2001 - Analysis 61 (3):193-202.
    In this paper, we criticise the claim, made by J. McDowell and B. Brewer, that the contents of perceptual experience are purely conceptual.
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  • What Perception is Doing, and What It is Not Doing, in Mathematical Reasoning.Dennis Lomas - 2002 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):205-223.
    What is perception doing in mathematical reasoning? To address this question, I discuss the role of perception in geometric reasoning. Perception of the shape properties of concrete diagrams provides, I argue, a surrogate consciousness of the shape properties of the abstract geometric objects depicted in the diagrams. Some of what perception is not doing in mathematical reasoning is also discussed. I take issue with both Parsons and Maddy. Parsons claims that we perceive a certain type of abstract object. Maddy claims (...)
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  • Knowledge of Grammar and Concept Possession.Edison Barrios - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):577-606.
    This article deals with the cognitive relationship between a speaker and her internal grammar. In particular, it takes issue with the view that such a relationship is one of belief or knowledge (I call this view the ‘Propositional Attitude View’, or PAV). I first argue that PAV entails that all ordinary speakers (tacitly) possess technical concepts belonging to syntactic theory, and second, that most ordinary speakers do not in fact possess such concepts. Thus, it is concluded that speakers do not (...)
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  • Situated Representations and Ad Hoc Concepts.Jérome Dokic - 2007 - In María José Frápolli (ed.), Saying, Meaning and Referring: Essays on François Recanati's Philosophy of Language. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Situation theorists such as Jon Barwise, John Etchemendy, and John Perry have advanced the hypothesis that linguistic and mental representations are ‘situated' in the sense that they are true or false only relative to partial situations. François Recanati has done an important task in reviving and in many respects deepening situation theory. In this chapter, I explore some aspects of Recanati's own account. I focus on situated mental representations, and stress the connection between them and ad hoc or temporary concepts.
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  • Two Conceptions of Conceptualism and Nonconceptualism.T. M. Crowther - 2006 - Erkenntnis 65 (2):245-276.
    Though it enjoys widespread support, the claim that perceptual experiences possess nonconceptual content has been vigorously disputed in the recent literature by those who argue that the content of perceptual experience must be conceptual content. Nonconceptualism and conceptualism are often assumed to be well-defined theoretical approaches that each constitute unitary claims about the contents of experience. In this paper I try to show that this implicit assumption is mistaken, and what consequences this has for the debate about perceptual experience. I (...)
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  • Does Linguistic Communication Rest on Inference?François Recanati - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (1-2):105–126.
    It is often claimed that, because of semantic underdetermination, one can determine the content of an utterance only by appealing to pragmatic considerations concerning what the speaker means, what his intentions are. This supports ‘inferentialism' : the view that, in contrast to perceptual content, communicational content is accessed indirectly, via an inference. As against this view, I argue that primary pragmatic processes (the pragmatic processes that are involved in the determination of truth-conditional content) need not involve an inference from premisses (...)
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  • Aesthetics and Cognitive Science.Dustin Stokes - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (5):715-733.
    Experiences of art involve exercise of ordinary cognitive and perceptual capacities but in unique ways. These two features of experiences of art imply the mutual importance of aesthetics and cognitive science. Cognitive science provides empirical and theoretical analysis of the relevant cognitive capacities. Aesthetics thus does well to incorporate cognitive scientific research. Aesthetics also offers philosophical analysis of the uniqueness of the experience of art. Thus, cognitive science does well to incorporate the explanations of aesthetics. This paper explores this general (...)
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  • The Role of Emotions in the Explanation of Action.Elisabeth Pacherie - 2002 - European Review of Philosophy 5:53-92.
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  • Situated Mental Representations.Jérôme Dokic - unknown
    Situation theorists such as John Barwise, John Etchemendy, John Perry and François Recanati have put forward the hypothesis that linguistic representations are situated in the sense that they are true or false only relative to partial situations which are not explicitly represented as such. Following Recanati's lead, I explore this hypothesis with respect to mental representations. First, I introduce the notion of unarticulated constituent, due to John Perry. I suggest that the question of whether there really are such constituents should (...)
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  • Perceiving Intentions.Joelle Proust - 2003 - In Johannes Roessler & Naomi Eilan (eds.), Agency and Self-Awareness: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Clarendon Press.
    This paper defends the view that knowledge about one's own intentions can be gained in part through perception, although not through introspection. The various kinds of misperception of one's intentions are discussed. The latter distinction is applied to the analysis of schizophrenic patients' delusion of control.
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  • Levels of Perceptual Content.Elisabeth Pacherie - 2000 - Philsophical Studies 100 (3):237-54.
    My main thesis is this paper is that, although Dretske's distinction between simple perception and cognitive perception constitutes an important milestone in contemporary theorizing on perception, it remains too coarse to account for a number of phenomena that do not seem to fall squarely on either side of the divide. I argue that what is needed in order to give a more accurate account of perceptual phenomena is not a twofold distinction of the kind advocated by Dretske but a threefold (...)
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  • McDowell, Demonstrative Concepts, and Nonconceptual Representational Content.Wayne Wright - 2003 - Disputatio 1 (14):38-54.
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  • Talking Our Way to Systematicity.Léa Salje - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-26.
    Do we think in a language-like format? Taking the marker of language-like formats to be the property of unconstrained systematicity, this paper considers the following master argument for the claim that we do: language is unconstrainedly systematic, if language is unconstrainedly systematic then so is thought, so thought is unconstrainedly systematic. It is easy to feel that there is something right about this argument, that there will be some way of filling in its details that will vindicate the idea that (...)
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  • Perception and Conceptual Content.Alex Byrne - 2005 - In Ernest Sosa & Matthias Steup (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. pp. 231--250.
    Perceptual experiences justify beliefs—that much seems obvious. As Brewer puts it, “sense experiential states provide reasons for empirical beliefs” (this volume, xx). In Mind and World McDowell argues that we can get from this apparent platitude to the controversial claim that perceptual experiences have conceptual content: [W]e can coherently credit experiences with rational relations to judgement and belief, but only if we take it that spontaneity is already implicated in receptivity; that is, only if we take it that experiences have (...)
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  • Crane on Concepts and Experiential Content.D. McFarland - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):54-58.
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  • Almost One, Overlap and Function.C. S. Sutton - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):45-52.
    In David Lewis’s famous ‘Many, but Almost One’, he argues that when objects of the same kind share most of their parts, they can be counted as one. I argue that mereological overlap does not do the trick. A better candidate is overlap in function. Although mereological overlap often goes hand-in-hand with functional overlap, a functional approach is more accurate in cases in which mereology and function are teased apart. A functional approach also solves a version of the problem of (...)
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  • Bodily Ownership, Bodily Awareness and Knowledge Without Observation.José Luis Bermúdez - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):37-45.
    In a recent paper, Fredérique de Vignemont has argued that there is a positive quale of bodily ownership . She thinks that tactile and other forms of somatosensory phenomenology incorporate a distinctive feeling of myness and takes issue with my defense in Bermúdez of a deflationary approach to bodily ownership. That paper proposed an argument deriving from Elizabeth Anscombe’s various discussions of what she terms knowledge without observation . De Vignemont is not convinced and appeals to the Rubber Hand Illusion (...)
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  • Emotions, Perceptions, and Emotional Illusions.Christine Tappolet - 2012 - In Calabi Clotilde (ed.), Perceptual Illusions. Philosophical and Psychological Essays, Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 207-24.
    Emotions often misfire. We sometimes fear innocuous things, such as spiders or mice, and we do so even if we firmly believe that they are innocuous. This is true of all of us, and not only of phobics, who can be considered to suffer from extreme manifestations of a common tendency. We also feel too little or even sometimes no fear at all with respect to very fearsome things, and we do so even if we believe that they are fearsome. (...)
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  • Experience and Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):699-747.
    I argue that perceptual experience provides us with both phenomenal and factive evidence. To a first approximation, we can understand phenomenal evidence as determined by how our environment sensorily seems to us when we are experiencing. To a first approximation, we can understand factive evidence as necessarily determined by the environment to which we are perceptually related such that the evidence is guaranteed to be an accurate guide to the environment. I argue that the rational source of both phenomenal and (...)
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  • Kant on Intentionality, Magnitude, and the Unity of Perception.Sacha Golob - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):505-528.
    This paper addresses a number of closely related questions concerning Kant's model of intentionality, and his conceptions of unity and of magnitude [Gröβe]. These questions are important because they shed light on three issues which are central to the Critical system, and which connect directly to the recent analytic literature on perception: the issues are conceptualism, the status of the imagination, and perceptual atomism. In Section 1, I provide a sketch of the exegetical and philosophical problems raised by Kant's views (...)
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  • Introduction.Alex Byrne & Heather Logue - 2009 - In Alex Byrne & Heather Logue (eds.), Disjunctivism: Contemporary Readings. MIT Press.
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  • Visual Experience and Motor Action: Are the Bonds Too Tight?Andy Clark - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (4):495-519.
    How should we characterize the functional role of conscious visual experience? In particular, how do the conscious contents of visual experience guide, bear upon, or otherwise inform our ongoing motor activities? According to an intuitive and (I shall argue) philosophically influential conception, the links are often quite direct. The contents of conscious visual experience, according to this conception, are typically active in the control and guidance of our fine-tuned, real-time engagements with the surrounding three-dimensional world. But this idea (which I (...)
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  • Perception as Unconscious Inference.Gary Hatfield - 2002 - In Dieter Heyer & Rainer Mausfeld (eds.), Perception and the Physical World: Psychological and Philosophical Issues in Perception. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 113--143.
    In this chapter I examine past and recent theories of unconscious inference. Most theorists have ascribed inferences to perception literally, not analogically, and I focus on the literal approach. I examine three problems faced by such theories if their commitment to unconscious inferences is taken seriously. Two problems concern the cognitive resources that must be available to the visual system (or a more central system) to support the inferences in question. The third problem focuses on how the conclusions of inferences (...)
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  • The Ontology of Perception: Bipolarity and Content.Jérôme Dokic - 1998 - Erkenntnis 48 (2-3):153-169.
    The notion of perceptual content is commonly introduced in the analysis of perception. It stems from an analogy between perception and propositional attitudes. Both kinds of mental states, it is thought, have conditions of satisfaction. I try to show that on the most plausible account of perceptual content, it does not determine the conditions under which perceptual experience is veridical. Moreover, perceptual content must be bipolar, whereas perception as a mental state is not. This has profound consequences for the epistemological (...)
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  • A Theory of Sentience.Austen Clar (ed.) - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
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  • Recent Work in Perception: Naïve Realism and its Opponents.Matthew Nudds - 2009 - Analysis 69 (2):334-346.
    Suppose that you are looking at a vase of flowers on the table in front of you. You can visually attend to the vase and to the flowers, noticing their different features: their colour, their shape and the way they are arranged. In attending to the vase, the flowers and their features, you are attending to mind-independent objects and features. Suppose, now, that you introspectively reflect on the visual experience you have when looking at the vase of flowers. In doing (...)
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  • Putting Thoughts to Work: Concepts, Systematicity, and Stimulus-Independence.Elisabeth Camp - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):275-311.
    I argue that we can reconcile two seemingly incompatible traditions for thinking about concepts. On the one hand, many cognitive scientists assume that the systematic redeployment of representational abilities suffices for having concepts. On the other hand, a long philosophical tradition maintains that language is necessary for genuinely conceptual thought. I argue that on a theoretically useful and empirically plausible concept of 'concept', it is necessary and sufficient for conceptual thought that a thinker be able to entertain many of the (...)
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  • Brentano and the Parts of the Mental: A Mereological Approach to Phenomenal Intentionality.Arnaud Dewalque - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 12 (3):447-464.
    In this paper, I explore one particular dimension of Brentano’s legacy, namely, his theory of mental analysis. This theory has received much less attention in recent literature than the intentionality thesis or the theory of inner perception. However, I argue that it provides us with substantive resources in order to conceptualize the unity of intentionality and phenomenality. My proposal is to think of the connection between intentionality and phenomenality as a certain combination of part/whole relations rather than as a supervenience (...)
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  • Reasons, Contents and Experiences.Daniel Laurier - 2004 - Disputatio 1 (17):1 - 21.
    I propose what seems a plausible interpretation of the suggestion that the fact that someone has or lacks the capacity to make inferences of certain kinds should be taken as evidence that the contents of the states involved in these inferences are conceptual/nonconceptual. I then argue that there is no obvious way in which this line of thought could be exploited to help draw the line separating conceptual from nonconceptual contents. This will lead me to clarify in what sense perceptual (...)
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  • Putnam's Natural Realism and the Question of a Perceptual Interface.David Macarthur - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):167-181.
    In his Dewey Lectures,1 Hilary Putnam argues that contemporary philosophy cannot solve nor see its way past the traditional problem of how language or thought hooks on to.
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  • The Perception of Time and the Notion of a Point of View.Christoph Hoerl - 1997 - European Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):156-171.
    This paper aims to investigate the temporal content of perceptual experience. It argues that we must recognize the existence of temporal perceptions, i.e., perceptions the content of which cannot be spelled out simply by looking at what is the case at an isolated instant. Acts of apprehension can cover a succession of events. However, a subject who has such perceptions can fall short of having a concept of time. Similar arguments have been put forward to show that a subject who (...)
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