The non-conceptual content of perceptual experience: Situation dependence and fineness of grain

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):601-608 (2001)
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Abstract

I begin by examining a recent debate between John McDowell and Christopher Peacocke over whether the content of perceptual experience is non-conceptual. Although I am sympathetic to Peacocke’s claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual, I suggest a number of ways in which his arguments fail to make that case. This failure stems from an over-emphasis on the "fine-grainedness" of perceptual content - a feature that is relatively unimportant to its non-conceptual structure. I go on to describe two other features of perceptual experience that are more likely to be relevant to the claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual. These features are 1) the dependence of a perceived object on the perceptual context in which it is perceived and 2) the dependence of a perceived property on the object it is perceived to be a property of

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Sean Kelly
Harvard University

Citations of this work

Perception and conceptual content.Alex Byrne - 2005 - In Ernest Sosa & Matthias Steup (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell. pp. 231--250.
Kant and nonconceptual content.Robert Hanna - 2005 - European Journal of Philosophy 13 (2):247-290.
Is there a problem about nonconceptual content?Jeff Speaks - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (3):359-98.

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