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Perceptual Nonconceptualism: Disentangling the Debate Between Content and State Nonconceptualism

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Abstract

In this paper I argue, against recent claims by Bermúdez (2007) and Toribio (2008), that within the debate about whether perceptual experiences are nonconceptual, ‘state nonconceptualism’ (or the ‘state view’) can be a coherent and plausible position. In particular, I explain that state nonconceptualism and content nonconceptualism, when understood in their most plausible and motivated form, presuppose different notions of content. I argue that state nonconceptualism can present a plausible way of unpacking the claim that perceptual experiences are nonconceptual once the notion of content it should presuppose is taken into account; and once this notion of content is clearly distinguished from the one usually presupposed by content nonconceptualism, the criticisms that Bermúdez and Toribio place against state nonconceptualism become ineffective.

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