Dialectica 73 (1-2):83-104 (2019)

Jacob Browning
New York University
In Mind and World, John McDowell provided an influential account of how perceptual experience makes knowledge of the world possible. He recommended a view he called “conceptualism”, according to which concepts are intimately involved in perception and there is no non‐conceptual content. In response to criticisms of this view (especially those from Charles Travis), McDowell has more recently proposed a revised account that distinguishes between two kinds of representation: the passive non‐propositional contents of perceptual experience – what he now calls “intuitional content” – and the propositional contents of judgment – what he now calls “discursive content.” In this paper, I criticize McDowell's account of intuitional content. I argue that he equivocates between two different notions of intuitional content. These views propose different, and incompatible, ways of understanding how a perceiver makes a judgment based on perceptual experience. This is because these two views result from an underlying indeterminacy as to what, if anything, McDowell now means by “conceptual” when he makes claims that intuitional content is conceptual.
Keywords Perception  Non-Conceptual Content  Perceptual Content  John McDowell  Charles Travis  Immanuel Kant
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DOI 10.1111/1746-8361.12252
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Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Knowledge and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
Mind and World.John Mcdowell - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):99-109.

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