I am very grateful for comments from Paul Noordhof and four referees for this journal. Work on this paper was made possible by the award of a British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship.
Nonconceptual Content: From Perceptual Experience to Subpersonal Computational States
Version of Record online: 5 MAY 2007
Mind & Language
Volume 10, Issue 4, pages 333–369, December 1995
How to Cite
BERMÚDEZ, J. L. (1995), Nonconceptual Content: From Perceptual Experience to Subpersonal Computational States. Mind & Language, 10: 333–369. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.1995.tb00019.x
- Issue online: 5 MAY 2007
- Version of Record online: 5 MAY 2007
Abstract: Philosophers have often argued that ascriptions of content are appropriate only to the personal level states of folk psychology. Against this, this paper defends the view that the familiar propositional attitudes and states defined over them are part of a larger set of cognitive processes that do not make constitutive reference to concept possession. It does this by showing that states with nonconceptual content exist both in perceptual experience and in subpersonal information-processing systems. What makes these states content-involving is their satisfaction of certain basic conditions deriving from a general account of representation-driven behaviour that is neutral on the question of concept possession. It is also argued that creatures can be in states with nonconceptual content even though they possess no conceptual abilities at all.