State versus content: The unfair trial of perceptual nonconceptualism [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 69 (3):351 - 361 (2008)
It has recently been pointed out that perceptual nonconceptualism admits of two different and logically independent interpretations. On the first (content) view, perceptual nonconceptualism is a thesis about the kind of content perceptual experiences have. On the second (state) view, perceptual nonconceptualism is a thesis about the relation that holds between a subject undergoing a perceptual experience and its content. For the state nonconceptualist, it thus seems consistent to hold that both perceptual experiences and beliefs share the same (conceptual) content, but that for a subject to undergo a perceptual experience, the subject need not possess the concepts involved in a correct characterization of such content. I argue that the consistency of this position requires a non-Fregean notion of content that fails to capture the way the subject grasps the world as being. Hence state nonconceptualism leaves perceptual content attribution unsupported. Yet, on a characterization of content along the relevant (neo-Fregean) lines, this position would become incoherent, as it would entail that a subject could exercise cognitive abilities she doesn’t possess. I conclude that, given the notion of content demanded by the debate, the state view does entail the content view after all.
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,201
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.
Michael Tye (2006). Nonconceptual Content, Richness, and Fineness of Grain. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press 504–30.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

106 ( #41,918 of 1,940,950 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #197,835 of 1,940,950 )

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.