Do We Have To Choose between Conceptualism and Non-Conceptualism?

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (5):645-665 (2015)
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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, I argue, like the majority of non-conceptualist arguments, rest on a misconception of the conceptualist viewpoint. This has brought about an imbalance of the conceptualism/non-conceptualism dichotomy that has not been properly brought into view. This paper proceeds as follows: I first outline the central tenets of the conceptualist doctrine. Subsequently, I show that most of the main arguments of the past decades for non-conceptual content have l..



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Corijn van Mazijk
University of Groningen

Citations of this work

Kant and Husserl on the Contents of Perception.Corijn van Mazijk - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (2):267-287.
Kant and Husserl on bringing perception to judgment.Corijn Van Mazijk - 2016 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 8 (2):419-441.

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References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. Edited by G. E. M. Anscombe.
The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1945 - New York: Routledge. Edited by Donald A. Landes.

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