Non-conceptual Experiential Content and Reason-giving

According to John McDowell and Bill Brewer, our experiences have the type of content which can be the content of judgements - content which is the result of the actualization of specific conceptual abilities. They defend this view by arguing that our experiences must have such content in order for us to be able to think about our environment. In this paper I show that they do not provide a conclusive argument for this view. Focusing on Brewer’s version of the argument, I show that it rests on a questionable assumption - namely, that if a subject can recognize the normative bearing of a mental content upon what she should think and do, then this content must be the result of the actualization of conceptual capacities (and in this sense conceptual). I argue that considerations regarding the roles played by experience and concepts in our mental lives may require us to reject this assumption
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00353.x
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References found in this work BETA
Mind and World.John McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Reference and Consciousness.J. Campbell - 2002 - Oxford University Press.
Perception and Reason.Bill Brewer - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Nonconceptual Content and the "Space of Reasons".Richard Heck - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (4):483-523.

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