The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):285-318 (2017)
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Abstract

One sometimes believes a proposition without grasping it. For example, a complete achromat might believe that ripe tomatoes are red without grasping this proposition. My aim in this paper is to shed light on the difference between merely believing a proposition and grasping it. I focus on two possible theories of grasping: the inferential theory, which explains grasping in terms of inferential role, and the phenomenal theory, which explains grasping in terms of phenomenal consciousness. I argue that the phenomenal theory is more plausible than the inferential theory.

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Author's Profile

David Bourget
University of Western Ontario

Citations of this work

Consciousness and Intentionality.Angela Mendelovici & David Bourget - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 560-585.
The Value of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):503-520.
Beyond Explanation: Understanding as Dependency Modeling.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (4):1261-1286.
Is Understanding Reducible?Lewis D. Ross - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (2):117-135.

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References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
What Do Philosophers Believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.

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