Reflecting on Language from “Sideways-on”: Preparatory and Non-Preparatory Aspects-Seeing

Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (6) (2012)
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Aspect-seeing, I claim, involves reflection on concepts. It involves letting oneself feel how it would be like to conceptualize something with a certain concept, without committing oneself to this conceptualization. I distinguish between two kinds of aspect-perception: 1. Preparatory: allows us to develop, criticize, and shape concepts. It involves bringing a concept to an object for the purpose of examining what would be the best way to conceptualize it. 2. Non-Preparatory: allows us to express the ingraspability of certain experiences. It involves bringing a concept to an object for the purpose of showing—per impossible—what it would take to properly capture one’s experience. I demonstrate the usefulness of the two kinds of aspect perception in making conceptual judgments, and in making moral and aesthetic judgments.

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Reshef Agam-Segal
Virginia Military Institute


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