Formative Non-Conceptual Content

Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (5-6):201-214 (2015)
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The olfactory system processes smells in a structural manner that is unlike the composition of thoughts or language, suggesting that some of the content of our olfactory experiences are represented in a format that does not involve concepts. Consequently, formative non-conceptual content is offered as an alternative theory of non-conceptual content according to which the difference between conceptual and non-conceptual states is simply a matter of the format of their structural parts and relations within a system of representations. Aside from the theoretical merits of rethinking the quagmire of a debate regarding non-conceptual content as a format issue, studying olfaction shows that formative non-conceptual content is empirically plausible.



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Benjamin D. Young
University of Nevada, Reno

Citations of this work

Nonconceptual mental content.Jose Luis Bermudez - 2003 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Smelling matter.Benjamin D. Young - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (4):1-18.
Smelling Molecular Structure.Benjamin D. Young - 2019 - In Steven Gouveia, Manuel Curado & Dena Shottenkirk (eds.), Perception, Cognition and Aesthetics. New York: Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy. pp. 64-84.
Perceiving Smellscapes.Benjamin D. Young - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):203-223.

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