Acta Analytica 35 (1):51-59 (2020)

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Jeffrey Goodman
James Madison University
Abstract
What is reading? Seeing and comprehending a contentful, written text counts as reading, of course, but that is simply the paradigm; it is not reading itself. Blind people, e.g., often read using Braille. So, my project in this paper is to address this question: What is the proper analysis of person S reads text W? Surprisingly, no philosophical attempts to analyze reading exist; this question has yet to be tackled. Can other sensory modalities be used to read? What more can be said about the nature of the objects of reading, viz., texts? After critically assessing a few proposals, I defend a final analysis of reading according to which a person reads a text when she uses some sensory modality to cognitively attend to the word structures embedded in that text for the purposes of ultimately grasping its content. Moreover, S must not relentlessly fail to map W to some of W’s contents, and S’s comprehension of W’s contents must be a causal result of W.
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-019-00400-5
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Minds, Brains, and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.

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