Phenomenal Compositionality and Context Effects

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):494-498 (2018)
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The thesis that conceptual content is experiential faces a prima facie objection. Phenomenology is not in general compositional. For example, the experienced color of a thing will change depending on its context. If conceptual phenomenology is also subject to context effects, then thought contents will not be compositional. However, the compositionality of thought content is, arguably, explanatorily indispensable. This paper considers several different conceptions of compositionality, but in the end maintains there is no introspective evidence for conceptual context effects.

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David Pitt
California State University, Los Angeles


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