Dretske on Non‐Epistemic Seeing

Theoria 83 (4):364-393 (2017)
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Abstract

In this article, I make a distinction between two versions of non-epistemicism about seeing, and bring explicitly into view and argue against a particular version defended by Dretske. More specifically, I distinguish non-epistemic seeing as non-conceptual seeing, where concept possession is assumed to be cognitively demanding, from non-epistemic seeing as seeing without noticing, where noticing is assumed to be relatively cognitively undemanding. After showing that Dretske argues for the possibility of non-epistemic seeing in both senses of the term, I target his thesis that a given subject sees all the objects that are visually differentiated in her visual field, where visual differentiation does not require that she notice those objects. I argue that the notion of a visual field deployed in the formulation of the thesis cannot be phenomenal and therefore that seeing without noticing amounts to mere visual confrontation. I further argue that since the epistemicist does not deny the existence of seeing without noticing in the sense of mere visual confrontation, there is a clear sense in which Dretske's non-epistemicism turns out to be trivial.

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Erhan Demircioglu
Koc University

Citations of this work

Toward a Perceptual Account of Mindreading.Somogy Varga - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):380-401.

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References found in this work

The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
The Varieties of Reference.Louise M. Antony - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):275.
Knowledge and the flow of information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
Two concepts of consciousness.David M. Rosenthal - 1986 - Philosophical Studies 49 (May):329-59.
Conscious experience.Fred Dretske - 1993 - Mind 102 (406):263-283.

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