Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):316-337 (2014)

A recent debate in Kant scholarship concerns the role of concepts in Kant's theory of perception. Roughly, proponents of a conceptualist interpretation argue that for Kant, the possession of concepts is a prior condition for perception, while nonconceptualist interpreters deny this. The debate has two parts. One part concerns whether possessing empirical concepts is a prior condition for having empirical intuitions. A second part concerns whether Kant allows empirical intuitions without a priori concepts. Outside of Kant interpretation, the contemporary debate about conceptualism concerns whether perception requires empirical concepts. But, as I argue, the debate about whether Kant allows intuitions without empirical concepts does not show whether Kant is a conceptualist. Even if Kant allows intuitions without empirical concepts, it could still be that a priori concepts are required. While the debate could show that Kant is a conceptualist, I argue it does not. Finally, I sketch a novel way that the conceptualist interpreter might win the debate—roughly, by arguing that possessing a priori concepts is a prior condition for having appearances
Keywords Kant  Perception  Concepts  Conceptualism  Nonconceptualism
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DOI 10.1111/sjp.12076
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References found in this work BETA

The Contents of Visual Experience.Susanna Siegel - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.
Critique of Pure Reason.Immanuel Kant - 1781/1998 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell. pp. 449-451.
Kant's Transcendental Idealism.Henry E. Allison - 1988 - Yale University Press.
Mind and World.John Mcdowell - 1994 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 58 (2):389-394.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Kantian (Non)‐Conceptualism Debate.Colin McLear - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (11):769-790.
Kantian Conceptualism/Nonconceptualism.Colin McLear - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Perceptual Content and the Unity of Perception.David Bruijn - forthcoming - Southern Journal of Philosophy.

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