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A Study of Concepts

MIT Press (1992)

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  1. Two Versions of the Conceptual Content of Experience.Daniel E. Kalpokas - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (1):36-55.
    In ‘Avoiding the Myth of the Given’, McDowell revisits the main themes of Mind and World in order to make two important corrections: first, he does not longer believe that the content of perceptual...
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  • Response to Akagi, Hughes, and Springle. [REVIEW]Edouard Machery - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (4):608-623.
    Volume 27, Issue 4, October 2019, Page 608-623.
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  • ‘The Echo of a Thought in Sight’: Property Perception, Universals and Wittgenstein.Michael O’Sullivan - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (1):1-15.
    Contemporary philosophers of perception, even those with otherwise widely differing beliefs, often hold that universals enter into the content of perceptual experience. This doctrine can even be seen as a trivial inference from the observation that we observe properties – ways that things are – as well as things. I argue that the inference is not trivial but can and should be resisted. Ordinary property perception does not involve awareness of universals. But there are visual experiences which do involve determinate (...)
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  • Understanding and Disagreement in Belief Ascription.Víctor M. Verdejo - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (2):183-200.
    It seems uncontroversial that Dalton wrongly believed that atoms are indivisible. However, the correct analysis of Dalton’s belief and the way it relates to contemporary beliefs about atoms is, on closer inspection, far from straightforward. In this paper, I introduce four features that any candidate analysis is plausibly bound to respect. I argue that theories that individuate concepts at the level of understanding are doomed to fail in this endeavor. I formally sketch an alternative and suggest that cases such as (...)
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  • Against Perceptual Conceptualism.Hilla Jacobson & Hilary Putnam - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (1):1-25.
    This paper is concerned with the question of whether mature human experience is thoroughly conceptual, or whether it involves non-conceptual elements or layers. It has two central goals. The first goal is methodological. It aims to establish that that question is, to a large extent, an empirical question. The question cannot be answered by appealing to purely a priori and transcendental considerations. The second goal is to argue, inter alia by relying on empirical findings, that the view known as ‘state-conceptualism’ (...)
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  • Do We Have To Choose Between Conceptualism and Non-Conceptualism?Corijn Van Mazijk - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (5):645-665.
    It is today acknowledged by many that the debate about non-conceptual content is a mess. Over the past decades a vast collection of arguments for non-conceptual content piled up in which a variety of conceptions of what determines a state’s content is being used. This resulted in a number of influential attempts to clarify what would make a content non-conceptual, most notably Bermúdez’s classic definition, Heck’s divide into ‘state’ and ‘content’ conceptualism and Speaks’s ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ non-conceptualism. However, these interpretations, (...)
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  • Visual Experience and Motor Action: Are the Bonds Too Tight?Andy Clark - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (4):495-519.
    How should we characterize the functional role of conscious visual experience? In particular, how do the conscious contents of visual experience guide, bear upon, or otherwise inform our ongoing motor activities? According to an intuitive and (I shall argue) philosophically influential conception, the links are often quite direct. The contents of conscious visual experience, according to this conception, are typically active in the control and guidance of our fine-tuned, real-time engagements with the surrounding three-dimensional world. But this idea (which I (...)
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  • Perceptual Content Defended.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):714 - 750.
    Recently, the thesis that experience is fundamentally a matter of representing the world as being a certain way has been questioned by austere relationalists. I defend this thesis by developing a view of perceptual content that avoids their objections. I will argue that on a relational understanding of perceptual content, the fundamental insights of austere relationalism do not compete with perceptual experience being representational. As it will show that most objections to the thesis that experience has content apply only to (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.David John Chalmers (ed.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press USA.
    What is the mind? Is consciousness a process in the brain? How do our minds represent the world? Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a grand tour of writings on these and other perplexing questions about the nature of the mind. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, the book includes sixty-three selections that range from the classical contributions of Descartes to the leading edge of contemporary debates. Extensive sections cover foundational issues, the nature of consciousness, and the (...)
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...)
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  • Perception and the Fall From Eden.David J. Chalmers - 2006 - In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press. pp. 49--125.
    In the Garden of Eden, we had unmediated contact with the world. We were directly acquainted with objects in the world and with their properties. Objects were simply presented to us without causal mediation, and properties were revealed to us in their true intrinsic glory.
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  • Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2021 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the epistemic status of large cardinal axioms, undecidable propositions, and abstraction principles in the philosophy of mathematics; to the modal profile of rational intuition; and (...)
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  • Attention, Gestalt Principles, and the Determinacy of Perceptual Content.Ben White - 2020 - Annalen der Philosophie 87 (3):1133-1151.
    Theories of phenomenal intentionality have been claimed to resolve certain worries about the indeterminacy of mental content that rival, externalist theories face. Thus far, however, such claims have been largely programmatic. This paper aims to improve on prior arguments in favor of phenomenal intentionality by using attention and Gestalt principles as specific examples of factors that influence the phenomenal character of perceptual experience in ways that thereby help determine perceptual content. Some reasons are then offered for rejecting an alternative interpretation (...)
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  • First-Person Investigations of Consciousness.Brentyn Ramm - 2016 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
    This dissertation defends the reliability of first-person methods for studying consciousness, and applies first-person experiments to two philosophical problems: the experience of size and of the self. In chapter 1, I discuss the motivations for taking a first-person approach to consciousness, the background assumptions of the dissertation and some methodological preliminaries. In chapter 2, I address the claim that phenomenal judgements are far less reliable than perceptual judgements (Schwitzgebel, 2011). I argue that the main errors and limitations in making phenomenal (...)
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  • Perceptual Capacities.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - In Dena Shottenkirk & Steven Gouveia (eds.), Perception, Cognition, and Aesthetics. London: Routledge. pp. 137 - 169.
    Despite their importance in the history of philosophy and in particular in the work of Aristotle and Kant, mental capacities have been neglected in recent philosophical work. By contrast, the notion of a capacity is deeply entrenched in psychology and the brain sciences. Driven by the idea that a cognitive system has the capacity it does in virtue of its internal components and their organization, it is standard to appeal to capacities in cognitive psychology. The main benefit of invoking capacities (...)
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  • Truth and Chinese Philosophy: A Plea for Pluralism.Frank Saunders - 2022 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 21 (1):1-18.
    The question of whether or not early Chinese philosophers had a concept of truth has been the topic of some scholarly debate over the past few decades. The present essay offers a novel assessment of the debate, and suggests that no answer is fully satisfactory, as the plausibility of each turns in no small part on difficult and unsettled philosophical issues prior to the interpretation of any ancient Chinese philosophical texts—particularly the issues of what it means to “have a concept” (...)
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  • Attention, Gestalt Principles, and the Determinacy of Perceptual Content.Ben White - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1133-1151.
    Theories of phenomenal intentionality have been claimed to resolve certain worries about the indeterminacy of mental content that rival, externalist theories face. Thus far, however, such claims have been largely programmatic. This paper aims to improve on prior arguments in favor of phenomenal intentionality by using attention and Gestalt principles as specific examples of factors that influence the phenomenal character of perceptual experience in ways that thereby help determine perceptual content. Some reasons are then offered for rejecting an alternative interpretation (...)
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  • The Kantian (Non)‐Conceptualism Debate.Colin McLear - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (11):769-790.
    One of the central debates in contemporary Kant scholarship concerns whether Kant endorses a “conceptualist” account of the nature of sensory experience. Understanding the debate is crucial for getting a full grasp of Kant's theory of mind, cognition, perception, and epistemology. This paper situates the debate in the context of Kant's broader theory of cognition and surveys some of the major arguments for conceptualist and non-conceptualist interpretations of his critical philosophy.
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  • Inferentialism: Why Rules Matter.Jaroslav Peregrin - 2014 - London and New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In this study two strands of inferentialism are brought together: the philosophical doctrine of Brandom, according to which meanings are generally inferential roles, and the logical doctrine prioritizing proof-theory over model theory and approaching meaning in logical, especially proof-theoretical terms.
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  • Balint’s Syndrome, Visual Motion Perception, and Awareness of Space.Bartek Chomanski - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (6):1265-1284.
    Kant, Wittgenstein, and Husserl all held that visual awareness of objects requires visual awareness of the space in which the objects are located. There is a lively debate in the literature on spatial perception whether this view is undermined by the results of experiments on a Balint’s syndrome patient, known as RM. I argue that neither of two recent interpretations of these results is able to explain RM’s apparent ability to experience motion. I outline some ways in which each interpretation (...)
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  • The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering (Open Access).Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Why did such highly abstract ideas as truth, knowledge, or justice become so important to us? What was the point of coming to think in these terms? This book presents a philosophical method designed to answer such questions: the method of pragmatic genealogy. Pragmatic genealogies are partly fictional, partly historical narratives exploring what might have driven us to develop certain ideas in order to discover what these do for us. The book uncovers an under-appreciated tradition of pragmatic genealogy which cuts (...)
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  • Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    How can we think about things in the outside world? There is still no widely accepted theory of how mental representations get their meaning. In light of pioneering research, Nicholas Shea develops a naturalistic account of the nature of mental representation with a firm focus on the subpersonal representations that pervade the cognitive sciences.
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Experience and Reason.Fabian Dorsch - 2011 - Rero Doc.
    This collection brings together a selection of my recently published or forthcoming articles. What unites them is their common concern with one of the central ambitions of philosophy, namely to get clearer about our first-personal perspective onto the world and our minds. Three aspects of that perspective are of particular importance: consciousness, intentionality, and rationality. The collected essays address metaphysical and epistemological questions both concerning the nature of each of these aspects and concerning the various connections among them. More generally, (...)
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  • Consciousness and its Function.David Rosenthal - 2008
    MS, under submission, derived from a Powerpoint presentation at a Conference on Consciousness, Memory, and Perception, in honor of Larry Weiskrantz, City University, London, September 15, 2006.
     
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  • What Do Animals See? Intentionality, Objects and Kantian Nonconceptualism.Sacha Golob - 2020 - In Allais & Callanan (eds.), Kant and Animals. Oxford University Press.
    This article addresses three questions concerning Kant’s views on non-rational animals: do they intuit spatio-temporal particulars, do they perceive objects, and do they have intentional states? My aim is to explore the relationship between these questions and to clarify certain pervasive ambiguities in how they have been understood. I first disambiguate various nonequivalent notions of objecthood and intentionality: I then look closely at several models of objectivity present in Kant’s work, and at recent discussions of representational and relational theories of (...)
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  • Varieties of Conceptual Analysis.Max Kölbel - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    What exactly does conceptual analysis consist in? Is it empirical or a priori? How does it support philosophical theses, and what kinds of thesis are these? There is no consensus on these questions in contemporary philosophy. This paper aims to defend conceptual analysis by showing that it comprises a number of different methods and by explaining their importance in philosophy. After setting out an initial dilemma for conceptual analysis, the paper outlines a minimal ecumenical account of concepts, as well as (...)
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  • Deflating the Functional Turn in Conceptual Engineering.Jared Riggs - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11555-11586.
    Conceptual engineers have recently turned to the notion of conceptual functions to do a variety of explanatory work. Functions are supposed to explain what speakers are debating about in metalinguistic negotiations, to capture when two concepts are about the same thing, and to help guide our normative inquiries into which concepts we should use. In this paper, I argue that this recent “functional turn” should be deflated. Contra most interpreters, we should not try to use a substantive notion of conceptual (...)
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  • Extended Rationality: A Hinge Epistemology.Annalisa Coliva - 2015 - London, England: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Extended Rationality: A Hinge Epistemology provides a novel account of the structure of epistemic justification. Its central claim builds upon Wittgenstein's idea in On Certainty that epistemic justifications hinge on some basic assumptions and that epistemic rationality extends to these very hinges. It exploits these ideas to address major problems in epistemology, such as the nature of perceptual justifications, external world skepticism, epistemic relativism, the epistemic status of basic logical laws, of the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature, of our (...)
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  • Moral Inferentialism and the Frege-Geach Problem.Mark Douglas Warren - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2859-2885.
    Despite its many advantages as a metaethical theory, moral expressivism faces difficulties as a semantic theory of the meaning of moral claims, an issue underscored by the notorious Frege-Geach problem. I consider a distinct metaethical view, inferentialism, which like expressivism rejects a representational account of meaning, but unlike expressivism explains meaning in terms of inferential role instead of expressive function. Drawing on Michael Williams’ recent work on inferential theories of meaning, I argue that an appropriate understanding of the pragmatic role (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):114-133.
    I argue that perceptual consciousness is constituted by a mental activity. The mental activity in question is the activity of employing perceptual capacities, such as discriminatory, selective capacities. This is a radical view, but I hope to make it plausible. In arguing for this mental activist view, I reject orthodox views on which perceptual consciousness is analyzed in terms of peculiar entities, such as, phenomenal properties, external mind-independent properties, propositions, sense-data, qualia, or intentional objects.
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  • Can Groups Have Concepts? Semantics for Collective Intentions.Cathal O'Madagain - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):347-363.
    A substantial literature supports the attribution of intentional states such as beliefs and desires to groups. But within this literature, there is no substantial account of group concepts. Since on many views, one cannot have an intentional state without having concepts, such a gap undermines the cogency of accounts of group intentionality. In this paper I aim to provide an account of group concepts. First I argue that to fix the semantics of the sentences groups use to make their decisions (...)
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  • Animal Mental Action: Planning Among Chimpanzees.Angelica Kaufmann - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (4):745-760.
    I offer an argument for what mental action may be like in nonhuman animals. Action planning is a type of mental action that involves a type of intention. Some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of proximal mental actions, and some intentions are the causal mental antecedents of distal mental actions. The distinction between these two types of “plan-states” is often spelled out in terms of mental content. The prominent view is that while proximal mental actions are caused by mental (...)
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  • Conceptual Role Expressivism and Defective Concepts.James L. D. Brown - 2022 - In Oxford Studies in Metaethics 17.
    This paper examines the general prospects for conceptual role expressivism, expressivist theories that embrace conceptual role semantics. It has two main aims. The first aim is to provide a general characterisation of the view. The second aim is to raise a challenge for the general view. The challenge is to explain why normative concepts are not a species of defective concepts, where defective concepts are those that cannot meaningfully embed and participate in genuine inference. After rejecting existing attempts to answer (...)
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  • Demonstrative Content and the Experience of Properties.Hemdat Lerman - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (4):489-515.
    John McDowell (in Mind and World) and Bill Brewer (in Perception and Reason) argue that the content of our perceptual experience is conceptual in the following sense. It is of the type of content that could be the content of a judgement – that is, a content which results from the actualization of two (or more) conceptual abilities. Specifically, they suggest that the conceptual abilities actualized in experience are demonstrative abilities, and thus the resulting content is of the type we (...)
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  • Phenomenology and Nonconceptual Content.Christopher Peacocke - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):609-615.
    This note aims to clarify which arguments do, and which arguments do not, tell against Conceptualism, the thesis that the representational content of experience is exclusively conceptual. Contrary to Sean Kelly’s position, conceptualism has no difficulty accommodating the phenomena of color constancy and of situation-dependence. Acknowledgment of nonconceptual content is also consistent with holding that experiences have nonrepresentational subjective features. The crucial arguments against conceptualism stem from animal perception, and from a distinction, elaborated in the final section of the paper, (...)
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  • Demystifying Threshold Concepts.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 41 (2):263–270.
    This paper shows that so-called ‘threshold concepts’ have been defined in a way that makes it impossible, even in principle, to empirically isolate them. It continues by proposing an alternative theoretical framework, and argues: (1) that concepts are not reducible to abilities; (2) that acquisition of a given concept can be necessary, but not sufficient, for the possession of an ability; and (3) that being ‘threshold’ is an extrinsic property, such that what is threshold for one person is not for (...)
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  • Concepts and the Modularity of Thought.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (1):107-130.
    Having concepts is a distinctive sort of cognitive capacity. One thing that conceptual thought requires is obeying the Generality Constraint: concepts ought to be freely recombinable with other concepts to form novel thoughts, independent of what they are concepts of. Having concepts, then, constrains cognitive architecture in interesting ways. In recent years, spurred on by the rise of evolutionary psychology, massively modular models of the mind have gained prominence. I argue that these architectures are incapable of satisfying the Generality Constraint, (...)
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  • Siding with Euthyphro: Response-Dependence and Conferred Properties.Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir - 2010 - European Journal of Philosophy 18 (1):108-125.
    : I argue that a response‐dependence account of a concept can yield metaphysical results, and not merely epistemological or semantical results, which has been a prevalent view in the literature on response‐dependence. In particular, I show how one can argue for a conferralist account of a certain property by arguing that the concept of the property is response‐dependent, if certain assumptions are made.
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  • Conceptualism and the Myth of the Given.Walter Hopp - 2009 - European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):363-385.
  • Introduction.Elisabetta Lalumera - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (1):1-9.
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  • ‘That’ Response Doesn't Work: Against a Demonstrative Defense of Conceptualism.Adina L. Roskies - 2010 - Noûs 44 (1):112-134.
  • A Third Way in Metaethics.Laura Schroeter & François Schroeter - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):1-30.
    What does it take to count as competent with the meaning of a thin evaluative predicate like 'is the right thing to do'? According to minimalists like Allan Gibbard and Ralph Wedgwood, competent speakers must simply use the predicate to express their own motivational states. According to analytic descriptivists like Frank Jackson, Philip Pettit and Christopher Peacocke, competent speakers must grasp a particular criterion for identifying the property picked out by the term. Both approaches face serious difficulties. We suggest that (...)
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  • Acceptance-Dependence: A Social Kind of Response-Dependence.Frank A. Hindriks - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (4):481–498.
    Neither Johnston's nor Wright's account of response-dependence offers a complete picture of response-dependence, as they do not apply to all concepts that are intrinsically related to our mental responses. In order to (begin to) remedy this situation, a new conception of response-dependence is introduced that I call "acceptance-dependence". This account applies to concepts such as goal, constitutional, and money, the first two of which have mistakenly been taken to be response-dependent in another sense. Whereas on Johnston's and Wright's accounts response-dependent (...)
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  • Sentimentalism and the Intersubjectivity of Aesthetic Evaluations.Fabian Dorsch - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (3):417-446.
    Within the debate on the epistemology of aesthetic appreciation, it has a long tradition, and is still very common, to endorse the sentimentalist view that our aesthetic evaluations are rationally grounded on, or even constituted by, certain of our emotional responses to the objects concerned. Such a view faces, however, the serious challenge to satisfactorily deal with the seeming possibility of faultless disagreement among emotionally based and epistemically appropriate verdicts. I will argue that the sentimentalist approach to aesthetic epistemology cannot (...)
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  • The Ontology of Concepts: Abstract Objects or Mental Representations?Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):561-593.
    What is a concept? Philosophers have given many different answers to this question, reflecting a wide variety of approaches to the study of mind and language. Nonetheless, at the most general level, there are two dominant frameworks in contemporary philosophy. One proposes that concepts are mental representations, while the other proposes that they are abstract objects. This paper looks at the differences between these two approaches, the prospects for combining them, and the issues that are involved in the dispute. We (...)
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  • Empirical Concepts and the Content of Experience.Hannah Ginsborg - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (3):349-372.
    The view that the content of experience is conceptual is often felt to conflict with the empiricist intuition that experience precedes thought, rather than vice versa. This concern is explicitly articulated by Ayers as an objection both to McDowell and Davidson, and to the conceptualist view more generally. The paper aims to defuse the objection in its general form by presenting a version of conceptualism which is compatible with empiricism. It proposes an account of observational concepts on which possession of (...)
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  • The Argument From the Finer‐Grained Content of Colour Experiences A Redefinition of its Role Within the Debate Between McDowell and Non‐Conceptual Theorists.Annalisa Coliva - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (1):57-70.
    In this paper I address the question of whether the fact that our colour experiences have a finer‐grained content than our ordinary colour concepts allow us to represent should be taken as a threat to theories of the conceptual content of experience. In particular, I consider and criticise McDowell's response to that argument and propose a possible development of it. As a consequence, I claim that the role of the argument from the finer‐grained content of experience has to be redefined. (...)
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  • The Limits of Conceptual Analysis.Laura Schroeter - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (4):425-453.
    It would be nice if good old a priori conceptual analysis were possible. For many years conceptual analysis was out of fashion, in large part because of the excessive ambitions of verificationist theories of meaning._ _However, those days are over._ _A priori conceptual analysis is once again part of the philosophical mainstream._ _This renewed popularity, moreover, is well-founded. Modern philosophical analysts have exploited developments in philosophical semantics to formulate analyses which avoid the counterintuitive consequences of verificationism, while vindicating our ability (...)
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