Jerry Fodor on Non-conceptual Content

Synthese 167 (3):311 - 320 (2009)
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 he characterizes non-conceptual content in a particular way and argues that it is plausible that it plays an explanatory role in accounting for certain auditory and visual phenomena. So he thinks that there is reason to believe that there is non-conceptual content. On the other hand, Fodor thinks that non-conceptual content has a limited role. It occurs only in the very early stages of perceptual processing prior to conscious awareness. My paper is examines Fodor’s characterization of non-conceptual content and his claims for its explanatory importance. I also discuss if Fodor has made a case for limiting non-conceptual content to non-conscious, sub-personal mental states.
Keywords non-conceptual content  unconscious mental states  iconic representation  perceptual representation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40271336
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Katalin Balog, Jerry Fodor on Non-conceptual Content
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
John McDowell (1994). Mind and World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Stephen R. Schiffer (1972). Meaning. Oxford,Clarendon Press.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
John Kulvicki (2015). Analog Representation and the Parts Principle. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (1):165-180.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

274 ( #4,213 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

24 ( #37,511 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.