Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (4):481-492 (2015)

Authors
Indrek Reiland
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
Do we perceptually experience meanings? For example, when we hear an utterance of a sentence like ‘Bertrand is British’ do we hear its meaning in the sense of being auditorily aware of it? Several philosophers like Tim Bayne and Susanna Siegel have suggested that we do (Bayne 2009: 390, Siegel 2006: 490-491, 2011: 99-100). They argue roughly as follows: 1) experiencing speech/writing in a language you are incompetent in is phenomenally different from experiencing speech/writing you are competent in; 2) this contrast is best explained by the fact that we experience meanings in the latter case, but not the former. In contrast, in an important recent discussion Casey O’Callaghan has argued that we do not (O’Callaghan 2011). He responds to the above contrast argument by claiming that this phenomenal contrast is instead best explained by the fact that we hear language-specific phonological properties in the latter case, but not in the former. In this paper I argue that O’Callaghan’s response to the popular contrast argument is too limited in scope, provide a more general response, and present a new case against experiencing meanings.
Keywords experience  meaning
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DOI 10.1111/sjp.12150
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References found in this work BETA

Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and Other Indexicals.David Kaplan - 1989 - In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563.
The Contents of Visual Experience.Susannah Siegel - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.
Studies in the Way of Words.H. P. Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

On What We Experience When We Hear People Speak.Anders Nes - 2016 - Phenomenology and Mind 10:58-85.
Do We Hear Meanings? – Between Perception and Cognition.Anna Drożdżowicz - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-33.
Two Versions of the Conceptual Content of Experience.Daniel E. Kalpokas - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (1):36-55.

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