Much of the discussion of Naive Realism about veridical experience has focused on a consequence of adopting it—namely, disjunctivism about perceptual experience. However, the motivations for being a Naive Realist in the first place have received relatively little attention in the literature. In this paper, I will elaborate and defend the claim that Naive Realism provides the best account of the phenomenal character of veridical experience.
In the first section of this paper, after briefly arguing for the assumption that experiential content is propositional, I’ll distinguish three interpretations of the claim that experience has content (the Mild, Medium, and Spicy Content Views). In the second section, I’ll flesh out Naïve Realism in greater detail, and I’ll reconstruct what I take to be the main argument for its incompatibility with the Content Views. The third section will be devoted to evaluation of existing arguments for the Mild Content (...) View (the arguments from accuracy and appearing), and the development of what I take to be a stronger argument (the argument from belief generation). In the final section, I’ll identify a flaw in the argument for the incompatibility of Naïve Realism with the Content Views, which opens the door to a reconciliation. (shrink)
Many philosophers are skeptical about disjunctivism —a theory of perceptual experience which holds roughly that a situation in which I see a banana that is as it appears to me to be and one in which I have a hallucination as of a banana are mentally completely different. Often this skepticism is rooted in the suspicion that such a view cannot adequately account for the bad case—in particular, that such a view cannot explain why what it’s like to have a (...) hallucination can be exactly like what it’s like to have a veridical experience, that it cannot explain why the hallucination I have in the bad case is subjectively indistinguishable from the kind of experience I have in the good case, and that it cannot offer a viable account of the nature of hallucination. -/- In this paper, I argue that a proper formulation of disjunctivism can avoid these objections. Disjunctivism should be formulated as the weakest claim required to preserve its primary motivation, viz., Naïve Realism—the view that veridical experience fundamentally consists in the subject perceiving entities in her environment. And the weakest claim required to preserve Naïve Realism allows for many sorts of commonalities across the good and hallucinatory cases, commonalities that can be marshaled in responding to the objections. Most importantly, disjunctivism properly formulated is compatible with “positive” accounts of the nature of hallucination. (shrink)
Contemporary philosophy of perception is dominated by extremely polarized debates. The polarization is particularly acute in the debate between naïve realist disjunctivists and their opponents, but divisions seem almost as stark in other areas of dispute (for example, the debate over whether we experience so-called ‘high-level’ properties, and the debate concerning individuation of the senses). The guiding hypothesis underlying this volume is that such polarization stems from insufficient attention to how we should go about settling these debates. In general, there (...) is widespread, largely implicit disagreement concerning what philosophical theories of perception are supposed to explain, the claims that we should hold fixed in the course of theorizing, and the methods that such theorizing should employ. The goal of this volume is to move such methodological questions from the background to the fore, in the hope of facilitating progress. The contributions constitute an initial effort to spur more explicit, systematic discussion of methodology in philosophy of perception. They cover a wide range of relevant topics, from the relation between scientific and philosophical theorizing about perception, to lessons we can learn from the history of philosophy of perception. (shrink)
This paper develops a proposal about the metaphysics of gender by focusing on the question, what is it to be a woman? In recent years, the view that it is a matter of self-identifying as a woman has become increasingly popular outside of philosophical circles. Metaphysicians of gender generally regard this kind of view as hopeless, but it is the only kind of view that accommodates the strongest form of first-person authority (FPA) over gender.This inquiry into the nature of gender (...) is an ameliorative one, which takes the aim of securing the strongest form of FPA as its starting point. The main goal of this paper is to show that a self-identification account of gender can be made philosophically respectable, despite conventional wisdom to the contrary—if we embrace fictionalism about gender discourse.In Section 1, I will outline the belief condition (a specific version of a self-identification account of gender), and detail several seemingly insurmountable objections to it. In Section 2, I will motivate the search for an account that accommodates the strongest form of FPA. In Section 3, I will outline fictionalism about gender discourse and explain how it can address the objections to the belief condition. In Section 4, I will flesh out some key details of gender fictionalism. In Section 5, I will outline and respond to a family of serious objections, to the effect that gender fictionalism trivializes gender. Section 6 briefly considers the question of whether we should do away with the “gender fiction”. (shrink)