Direct realism with respect to perceptual experiences has two facets, an epistemological one and a metaphysical one. From the epistemological point of view it involves the claim that perceptual experiences provide immediate justification. From the metaphysical point of view it involves the claim that in perceptual experience we enter into direct contact with items in the external world. In a more radical formulation, often associated with naive realism, the metaphysical conception of direct realism involves the idea that perceptual experiences depend (...) on the items in the external world they are related to. This paper describes a simple account that makes room for immediate justification provided by perceptual experience. The simple account establishes an explanatory relation between the justificatory role of a perceptual experience and the fact that such an experience provides a reason for a belief. The account is evaluated in the light of some objections. Different ways to react to those objections are discussed. It will appear that in order to preserve the explanatory relation established by the simple account, one has to accept naive realism. By breaking the connection between reason and justification, on the other side, one jeopardizes the possibility for perceptual experience to deliver immediate justification. (shrink)
rentano’s theory of inner perception, evidence and truth upsets some widespread assumptions in contemporary philosophy. It rests on an unusual notion of inner perception and on a nominal theory of judgement; it attributes a central role to evidence in epistemology and treats mental states as being intrinsically true. The present contribution aims first at presenting and elucidating some of Brentano’s views on these matters. In some crucial points Brentano’s position will be modified and hopefully en- hanced in a way that (...) is compatible with the overall picture.1 Considerable space will be devoted to the examination of some of the most important objections that have been or might be raised against the position presented on Brentano’s behalf. If by far not invulnerable, the position un- der scrutiny should hopefully appear more challenging than what it is often taken to be. (shrink)
The claim that consciousness is propositional has be widely debated in the past. For instance, it has been discussed whether consciousness is always propositional, whether all propositional consciousness is linguistic, whether propositional consciousness is always articulated, or whether there can be non-articulated propositions. In contrast, the question of whether propositions are conscious has not very often been the focus of attention.
It is difficult to develop a coherent conception of time on the basis of our experience of time. The philosophical analysis of our experience of time is a central topic in phenomenology. So one might expect phenomenology to deliver a contribution to the solution of the most challenging puzzles of the philosophy of time. This paper deals with some methodological issues related to such an expectation. It opposes two main conceptions of the role of phenomenology in the philosophy of time. (...) On the first conception phenomenology draws conclusions about the nature of time from the description of the qualitative features of our experience of time. On the second conception, phenomenology determines what we are rationally entitled to believe about the nature of time on the basis of the way we experience time. It is argued that if one aims at integrating different approaches in one’s philosophical conception of time, then it is the second conception one ought to choose. (shrink)
By the time of the Prolegomena , Husserl took phenomenology to be a philosophical method that stands in opposition to naturalism, of which psychologism was supposed to be a particularly pernicious instance. Husserl was not the only philosopher at the turn of the century to oppose psychologism. Among his fellow campaigners one finds Frege, who played a decisive role in the development of so-called analytic philosophy, and Dilthey, who stands at the roots of contemporary hermeneutics. When it comes to issues (...) concerning the origins of phenomenology, as opposed to other traditions, anti-psychologism in particular, and anti-naturalism in general, cannot be used as discriminative criteria. One would need to determine what is specific to the phenomenological brand of anti-naturalism.Consider some of the claims shared by most anti-naturalists in Husserl’s time. Judgments have a specific kind of content, called “proposition,” “state of affairs” or “thought.” Contents of that kind are orig .. (shrink)
It is by now common knowledge that analytic philosophy has its roots, at least partially, in phenomenology. It is less known that analytic philosophy has inherited part of its original antipsychologism precisely from phenomenology, or rather from early phenomenology. The present article traces the historical brackground of antipsychologism, starting with the debate on the philosophical foundations of psychology during the 19th century. It appears that naturalistic antipsychologism, the early phenomenologists position, has to be distinguished from transcendental antipsychologism, as it was (...) promoted most prominently by Husserl after 1907. The article explains how this divide emerged from different conceptions of the specificity of the philosophical inquiry into the mind, as opposed to its psychological study. Adopting the naturalistic approach, the early phenomenological as well as the analytical school have reacted to the antipsychologistic challange by eliminating subjective elements from the content of the mind. (shrink)
I distinguish between naïve phenomenology and really existing phenomenology, a distinction that is too often ignored. As a consequence, the weaknesses inherent in naïve phenomenology are mistakenly attributed to phenomenology. I argue that the critics of naïve phenomenology have unwittingly adopted a number of precisely those weaknesses they wish to point out. More precisely, I shall argue that Dennett’s criticism of the naïve or auto-phenomenological conception of subjectivity fails to provide a better understanding of the intended phenomenon.
It is sometimes said that questions of form are questions of logic or language. In his "Logical Investigations" Husserl, however, clearly distinguished formal ontology from formal grammar and formal logic. The article attempts to explain Husserl's notion of formal ontology. It investigates the relation between formal and material ontology as well as the relation between epistemic and metaphysical necessity. The article provides an interpretation of Husserl's claim that there are metaphysical necessities which are necessarily recognized by the human mind on (...) the basis of Husserl's well-known distinction between the meanings of mental acts and their objective correlates. (shrink)
Lire un texte du passé d’un point de vue philosophique, et non pas seulement historique ou philologique, signifie se situer par rapport à lui, ou inversement situer le texte par rapport à un débat actuel. Seulement, voilà, qu’est-ce qu’un débat actuel? Est-ce que toute discussion philosophique qui se produit en l’année 99 dans une salle d’université quelconque mérite le titre de contribution — qu’elle soit négligeable ou éminemment signifiante — à la philosophie actuelle? Il existe une foule de débats qui (...) se produisent simultanément. Nous croyons tous participer à un débat actuel et la grande majorité d’entre nous ne connaît aucun autre débat. Qu’on le veuille ou non, nous sommes bien loin d’en avoir fini avec le provincialisme philosophique. (shrink)
In this paper we shall address some issues concerning the relation between the content and the nature of perceptual experience. More precisely, we shall ask whether the claim that perceptual experiences are by nature relational implies that they cannot be intentional. As we shall see, much depends in this respect on the way one understands the possibility for one to be wrong about the phenomenal nature of one’s own experience. We shall argue that once this very possibility is properly understood, (...) the metaphysical claim that perceptual experiences are relational is compatible with the view that they are intentional. Before presenting the argument, we should try to articulate some elements of an intentionalist approach concerning the role of experience in our relation to ourselves and to our environment. The picture should offer a motivation for the arguments that follow. more about illusions etc (see Clatilde’s comments). (shrink)