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Summary Do we employ concepts in perception for every feature that we perceive? Discrimination between shades of color outruns memory -you can distinguish more shades than you can identify. But does that fact entail that you can experience a specific shade of red, without having a concept of that specific shade? These issues are sharpened by settling on what concepts are, and what it is to "employ" a concept in perception. 
Key works Kant 2007 is a reference point for discussions of the role of concepts in perception. Evans 1982 and Peacocke 1992 offer key defenses and definitions of nonconceptual content. McDowell 1994 and Brewer 1999 offer key defenses and definitions of conceptual content. Stalnaker 2003 relates the issue to whether contents are structured.
Introductions Peacocke 1992 introduces several kinds of non-conceptual content.McDowell 1994 makes a case for the necessity of concepts for perception, and argues against non-conceptual content. Brewer 2005 and Byrne 2005 present two sides of the issue. Speaks 2005 and Byrne 2003 contain useful overviews of the issues.
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  1. André Abath (2008). The Constitution Argument Against Conceptualism. Sorites 20:49-66.
    According to philosophers such as McDowell and Brewer, the contents of perceptual experience are conceptual. This view came to be known as Conceptualism. However, a number of critics have argued that they are wrong in thinking this, for they claim that there is an argument, the so-called Fineness of Grain Argument, which is valid and sound, and has as its consequence the falsity of Conceptualism. Although McDowell and Brewer seem to acknowledge that the Fineness of Grain Argument, if valid and (...)
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  2. André J. Abath (2012). Brewer's Switching Argument. Grazer Philosophische Studien 85 (1):255-277.
    In his Perception and Reason, Bill Brewer argues that one can only have empirical beliefs if one’s perceptual experiences serve as reasons for such beliefs. His argument for this idea relies on a premise according to which in order for the relations with perceptual experience to determine the contents of empirical beliefs, these relations must be reason-giving. He offers an argument for this premise, the so-called Switching Argument. In this paper, I show that the Switching Argument does not work, in (...)
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  3. André Abath & João Queiroz (2005). Nonconceptual Content, Fineness of Grain and Recognitional Capacities. Abstracta 1 (2):193-206.
    One of the current debates in philosophy of mind is whether the content of perceptual experiences is conceptual or nonconceptual. The proponents of nonconceptual content, or nonconceptualists, typically support their position by appealing to the so-called Fineness of Grain Argument, which, in rough terms, has as its conclusion that we do not possess concepts for everything we perceive. In his Mind and World, John McDowell tried to give a response to the argument, and show that we do possess concepts for (...)
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  4. Frederick R. Ablondi (2002). Kelly and McDowell on Perceptual Content. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7.
    [0] In a recent issue of _EJAP_, Sean Kelly [1998] defended the position that perceptual content is non-conceptual. More specifically, he claimed that John McDowell's view that concepts involved in perception can be understood as expressible through the use of demonstratives is ultimately untenable. In what follows, I want to look more closely at Kelly's position, as well as suggest possible responses one could make on McDowell's behalf.
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  5. Juan José Acero (1998). Non-Conceptual Content, Subject-Centered Information and the Naturalistic Demand. Philosophical Issues 9:359-367.
  6. Emmanuel Akintona (2012). Nonconceptualism and the Cognitive Process of Perception. Philosophia 41 (1).
    Gareth Evans was first to express the idea that our perceptual experience is more detailed than what our concepts possess and this brings in the idea of nonconceptualism. The nonconceptualist claims that creatures without conceptual ability can be in a content-bearing state since they do not possess concept, memory or linguistic ability. Concepts are the constituents of those intentional contents that are the complete truth-evaluable contents of judgment and belief. This paper examines the possibility of nonconceptual content in human perception (...)
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  7. Jan Almäng (2014). Perception, Non-Propositional Content and the Justification of Perceptual Judgments. Metaphysica 15 (1):1-23.
    It is often argued that for a perceptual experience to be able to justify perceptual judgments, the perceptual experience must have a propositional content. For, it is claimed, only propositions can bear logical relations such as implication to each other. In this paper, this claim is challenged. It is argued that whereas perceptions and judgments both have intentional content, their contents have different structures. Perceptual content does not have a propositional structure. Perceptions and judgments can nevertheless have the same cognitive (...)
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  8. Jan Almäng (2008). Affordances and the Nature of Perceptual Content. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (2):161 - 177.
    According to John McDowell,<span class='Hi'></span> representational perceptual content is conceptual through and through.<span class='Hi'></span> This paper criticizes this view by claiming that there is a certain kind of representational and non-conceptual perceptual content that is sensitive to bodily skills.<span class='Hi'></span> After a brief introduction to McDowell's position,<span class='Hi'></span> Merleau-Ponty's notion of body schema and Gibson's notion of affordance are presented.<span class='Hi'></span> It is argued that affordances are constitutive of representational perceptual content,<span class='Hi'></span> and that at least some affordances,<span class='Hi'></span> the (...)
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  9. William P. Alston (1998). Pragmatism, Reason, and Norms: A Realistic Assessment. New York: Fordham University Press.
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  10. William P. Alston (1998). Perception and Conception. In Pragmatism, Reason, and Norms: A Realistic Assessment. New York: Fordham University Press.
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  11. Inkpin Andrew (2011). The Nonconceptual Content of Paintings. Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aestetics; Until 2008: Estetika (Aesthetics) 48 (1).
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  12. Stella González Arnal (2006). Non-Articulable Content and the Realm of Reasons. Teorema: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 25 (1):121-131.
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  13. Michael Ayers (2004). Sense Experience, Concepts and Content, Objections to Davidson and McDowell. In Ralph Schumacher (ed.), Perception and Reality - From Descartes to the Present. mentis.
    Philosophers debate whether all, some or none of the represcntational content of our sensory experience is conccptual, but the technical term "concept" has different uses. It is commonly linked more or less closely with the notions of judgdment and reasoning, but that leaves open the possibility that these terms share a systematic ambiguity or indeterminacy. Donald Davidson, however, holds an unequivocal and consistent, if paradoxical view that there are strictly speaking no psychological states with representational or intentional content except the (...)
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  14. Michael R. Ayers (2002). Is Perceptual Content Ever Conceptual? Philosophical Books 43 (1):5-17.
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  15. Katalin Balog (2009). Jerry Fodor on Non-Conceptual Content. Synthese 167 (3):311 - 320.
    Proponents of non-conceptual content have recruited it for various philosophical jobs. Some epistemologists have suggested that it may play the role of “the given” that Sellars is supposed to have exorcised from philosophy. Some philosophers of mind (e.g., Dretske) have suggested that it plays an important role in the project of naturalizing semantics as a kind of halfway between merely information bearing and possessing conceptual content. Here I will focus on a recent proposal by Jerry Fodor. In a recent paper (...)
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  16. Michael D. Barber (2008). Holism and Horizon: Husserl and McDowell on Non-Conceptual Content. [REVIEW] Husserl Studies 24 (2):79-97.
    John McDowell rejects the idea that non-conceptual content can rationally justify empirical claims—a task for which it is ill-fitted by its non-conceptual nature. This paper considers three possible objections to his views: he cannot distinguish empty conception from the perceptual experience of an object; perceptual discrimination outstrips the capacity of concepts to keep pace; and experience of the empirical world is more extensive than the conceptual focusing within it. While endorsing McDowell’s rejection of what he means by non-conceptual content, and (...)
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  17. Nathan Bauer (2012). A Peculiar Intuition: Kant's Conceptualist Account of Perception. Inquiry 55 (3):215-237.
    Abstract Both parties in the active philosophical debate concerning the conceptual character of perception trace their roots back to Kant's account of sensible intuition in the Critique of Pure Reason. This striking fact can be attributed to Kant's tendency both to assert and to deny the involvement of our conceptual capacities in sensible intuition. He appears to waver between these two positions in different passages, and can thus seem thoroughly confused on this issue. But this is not, in fact, the (...)
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  18. Michael Beaton, J. Bricklin, Louis C. Charland, J. C. W. Edwards, Ilya B. Farber, Bill Faw, Rocco J. Gennaro, C. Kaernbach, C. M. H. Nunn, Jaak Panksepp, Jesse J. Prinz, Matthew Ratcliffe, Jacob J. Ross, S. Murray, Henry P. Stapp & Douglas F. Watt (2006). Switched-on Consciousness - Clarifying What It Means - Response to de Quincey. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (4):7-12.
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  19. Jacob Beck (2014). Analogue Magnitudes, the Generality Constraint, and Nonconceptual Thought. Mind 123 (492):1155-1165.
    I reply to comments by David Miguel Gray and Grant Gillett concerning my paper, ‘The Generality Constraint and the Structure of Thought’.
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  20. Jacob Beck (2012). The Generality Constraint and the Structure of Thought. Mind 121 (483):563-600.
    According to the Generality Constraint, mental states with conceptual content must be capable of recombining in certain systematic ways. Drawing on empirical evidence from cognitive science, I argue that so-called analogue magnitude states violate this recombinability condition and thus have nonconceptual content. I further argue that this result has two significant consequences: it demonstrates that nonconceptual content seeps beyond perception and infiltrates cognition; and it shows that whether mental states have nonconceptual content is largely an empirical matter determined by the (...)
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  21. John Bengson, Enrico Grube & Daniel Z. Korman (2011). A New Framework for Conceptualism. Noûs 45 (1):167 - 189.
    Conceptualism is the thesis that, for any perceptual experience E, (i) E has a Fregean proposition as its content and (ii) a subject of E must possess a concept for each item represented by E. We advance a framework within which conceptualism may be defended against its most serious objections (e.g., Richard Heck's argument from nonveridical experience). The framework is of independent interest for the philosophy of mind and epistemology given its implications for debates regarding transparency, relationalism and representationalism, demonstrative (...)
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  22. J. C. Berendzen (2010). Coping Without Foundations: On Dreyfus's Use of Merleau-Ponty. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (5):629-649.
    Hubert Dreyfus has recently invoked the work of Maurice Merleau?Ponty in criticizing the ?Myth of the Mental?. In criticizing that supposed myth, Dreyfus argues for a kind of foundationalism that takes embodied coping to be a self?sufficient layer of human experience that supports our ?higher? mental activities. In turn, Merleau?Ponty?s phenomenology is found, in Dreyfus?s recent writings, to corroborate this foundationalism. While Merleau?Ponty would agree with many of Dreyfus?s points, this paper argues that he would not, in fact, agree with (...)
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  23. J. C. Berendzen (2009). Coping with Nonconceptualism: On Merleau-Ponty and McDowell. Philosophy Today 53 (2):162-173.
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  24. Jose Luis Bermudez (2009). The Distinction Between Conceptual and Nonconceptual Content. In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oup Oxford.
    1 Domains of application 2 Formulating the conceptual/nonconceptual distinction 3 Is there such a thing as nonconceptual content? 4 Developing the account of nonconceptual content .
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  25. José Luis Bermúdez (2007). What is at Stake in the Debate on Nonconceptual Content? Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):55–72.
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  26. Jose Luis Bermudez, Nonconceptual Mental Content. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  27. José Luis Bermúdez (1999). Cognitive Impenetrability, Phenomenology, and Nonconceptual Content. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):367-368.
    This commentary discusses Pylyshyn's model of perceptual processing in the light of the philosophical distinction between the conceptual and the nonconceptual content of perception. Pylyshyn's processing distinction maps onto an important distinction in the phenomenology of visual perception.
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  28. José Luis Bermúdez (1995). Nonconceptual Content: From Perceptual Experience to Subpersonal Computational States. Mind and Language 10 (4):333-369.
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  29. Jose Luis Bermudez (1995). Nonconceptual Content: From Perceptual Experience to Subpersonal Computational States. Mind and Language 10 (4):333-69.
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  30. Jose Luis Bermudez (1994). Peacocke's Argument Against the Autonomy of Nonconceptual Representational Content. Mind and Language 9 (4):402-18.
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  31. Jose Luis Bermudez & Fiona Macpherson (1998). Nonconceptual Content and the Nature of Perceptual Experience. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6.
    [1] Recent philosophy of mind and epistemology has seen an important and influential trend towards accounting for at least some features of experiences in content-involving terms. It is a contested point whether ascribing content to experiences can account for all the intrinsic properties of experiences, but on many theories of experiences there are close links between the ascription of content and the ways in which experiences are ascribed and typed. The issues here have both epistemological and psychological dimensions. On the (...)
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  32. Yashua Bhatti (2014). Schelling’s Nonconceptual Grounding. Review of Metaphysics 67 (3):543-582.
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  33. Brewer Bill (2005). Does Perceptual Experience Have Conceptual Content. In Steup Matthias & Sosa Ernest (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell.
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  34. James Blachowicz (1997). Analog Representation Beyond Mental Imagery. Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):55 - 84.
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  35. Ned Block (2014). Seeing‐As in the Light of Vision Science. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):560-572.
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  36. Margaret A. Boden (ed.) (1990). The Philosophy of AI. Oxford University Press.
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  37. Bill Brewer (2005). Do Sense Experiential States Have Conceptual Content? In Steup Matthias & Sosa Ernest (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. 217--230.
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  38. Bill Brewer (2005). Perceptual Experience has Conceptual Content. In Ernest Sosa & Matthias Steup (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell.
    I take it for granted that sense experiential states provide reasons for empirical beliefs; indeed this claim forms the first premise of my central argument for (CC). 1 The subsequent stages of the argument are intended to establish that a person has such a reason for believing something about the way things are in the world around him only if he is in some mental state or other with a conceptual content: a conceptual state. Thus, given that sense experiential states (...)
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  39. Ingar Brinck (1999). Nonconceptual Content and the Distinction Between Implicit and Explicit Knowledge. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):760-761.
    The notion of nonconceptual content in Dienes & Perner's theory is examined. A subject may be in a state with nonconceptual content without having the concepts that would be used to describe the state. Nonconceptual content does not seem to be a clear-cut case of either implicit or explicit knowledge. It underlies a kind of practical knowledge, which is not reducible to procedural knowledge, but is accessible to the subject and under voluntary control.
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  40. Berit Brogaard (2013). It's Not What It Seems. A Semantic Account of 'Seems' and Seemings. Inquiry 56 (2-3):210-239.
    I start out by reviewing the semantics of ?seem?. As ?seem? is a subject-raising verb, ?it seems? can be treated as a sentential operator. I look at the semantic and logical properties of ?it seems?. I argue that ?it seems? is a hyperintensional and contextually flexible operator. The operator distributes over conjunction but not over disjunction, conditionals or semantic entailments. I further argue that ?it seems? does not commute with negation and does not agglomerate with conjunction. I then show that (...)
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  41. Otávio Bueno (2013). Perception and Conception: Shaping Human Minds. [REVIEW] Biosemiotics 6 (3):323-336.
    Perceptual experiences provide an important source of information about the world. It is clear that having the capacity of undergoing such experiences yields an evolutionary advantage. But why should humans have developed not only the ability of simply seeing, but also of seeing that something is thus and so? In this paper, I explore the significance of distinguishing perception from conception for the development of the kind of minds that creatures such as humans typically have. As will become clear, it (...)
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  42. Matthew Burstein (2010). Epistemological Behaviorism, Nonconceptual Content, and the Given. Contemporary Pragmatism 7 (1):168-89.
    Debates about nonconceptual content impact many philosophical disciplines, including philosophy of mind, epistemology, and philosophy of language. However, arguments made by many philosophers from within the pragmatist tradition, including Quine, Sellars, Davidson, Rorty, and Putnam, undercut the very role such content purportedly plays. I explore how specifically Sellarsian arguments against the Given and Rortian defenses of “epistemological behaviorism” undermine standard conceptions of nonconceptual content. Subsequently, I show that the standard objections to epistemological behaviorism inadequately attend to the essentially social and (...)
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  43. Alex Byrne (2005). Perception and Conceptual Content. In Ernest Sosa & Matthias Steup (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. 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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  44. Alex Byrne (2003). Consciousness and Nonconceptual Content. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 113 (3):261-274.
    Consciousness, Color, and Content is a significant contribution to our understanding of consciousness, among other things. I have learned a lot from it, as well as Tye’s other writings. What’s more, I actually agree with much of it – fortunately for this symposium, not all of it. The book continues the defense of the “PANIC” theory of phenomenal consciousness that Tye began in Ten Problems of Consciousness (1995). A fair chunk of it, though, is largely independent of this theory: the (...)
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  45. Alex Byrne (1996). Spin Control. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Perception. Ridgeview. 261--74.
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  46. Monima Chadha (2009). Contents of Experience. Sophia 48 (3):237-251.
    In this paper I aim to situate the Naiyayika theory of perception in contemporary philosophy of mind. Following the ancients, I suggest we reconsider the taxonomy and the assumed interactions between kinds of perceptual content. This reclassification will lead us to reconsider some aspects of the Cartesian conception of mind that continue to influence the work of contemporary theorists. I focus attention on different accounts of sensory perception favoured by ancient Indian Naiyayika philosophers and Descartes as a starting point for (...)
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  47. Monima Chadha (2009). An Independent, Empirical Route to Nonconceptual Content. Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):439-448.
    The overall goal of this paper is to offer an independent, empirical route to characterize the content on nonconceptual content. I pursue a recent move by Pylyshyn, a leading cognitive scientist and philosopher of mental representation, who focuses on empirical considerations in favor of nonconceptual representations. Pylyshyn proposes a minimalist view of nonconceptual representations. I offer empirical reasons that force us to go beyond minimalist account and reinstate empirically defensible richer nonconceptual representations into a theory of content.
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  48. Arindam Chakrabarti (2003). Perception, Apperception and Non-Conceptual Content. In Perspectives on Consciousness. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.
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  49. Arindam Chakrabarti (2003). Perspectives on Consciousness. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.
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  50. Ron Chrisley & J. Parthemore (2007). Synthetic Phenomenology:Exploiting Embodiment to Specify the Non-Conceptual Content of Visual Experience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (7):44-58.
    Not all research in machine consciousness aims to instantiate phenomenal states in artefacts. For example, one can use artefacts that do not themselves have phenomenal states, merely to simulate or model organisms that do. Nevertheless, one might refer to all of these pursuits -- instantiating, simulating or modelling phenomenal states in an artefact -- as 'synthetic phenomenality'. But there is another way in which artificial agents (be they simulated or real) may play a crucial role in understanding or creating consciousness: (...)
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