Perception, Attention and Demonstrative Thought: In Defense of a Hybrid Metasemantic Mechanism

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Abstract
Demonstrative thoughts are distinguished by the fact that their contents are determined relationally, via perception, rather than descriptively. Therefore, a fundamental task of a theory of demonstrative thought is to elucidate how facts about visual perception can explain how these thoughts come to have the contents that they do. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how cognitive psychology may help us solve this metasemantic question, through empirical models of visual processing. Although there is a dispute between attentional and non-attentional models concerning the best metasemantic mechanism for demonstrative thoughts, in this paper I will argue in favor of a hybrid model, which combines both types of processes. In this picture, attentional and non-attentional mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and each plays a specific role in determining the singular content of demonstrative thoughts.
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First archival date: 2020-06-22
Latest version: 2 (2020-07-29)
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2020-06-22

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