Norwood Russell Hanson’s account of experience: an untimely defense

Synthese 198 (6):5179-5204 (2019)
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Experience, it is widely agreed, constrains our thinking and is also thoroughly theory-laden. But how can it constrain our thinking while depending on what it purports to constrain? To address this issue, I revisit and carefully analyze the account of observation provided by Norwood Russell Hanson, who introduced the term ‘theory-ladenness of observation’ in the first place. I show that Hanson’s account provides an original and coherent response to the initial question and argue that, if suitably developed, his account provides a distinctive, powerful, and attractive alternative to relationalist and standard representationalist conceptions of experience.

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T. Raja Rosenhagen
Ashoka University (Sonipat, India)


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