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21. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
David Guetter Review of The Legacy of Parmenides, by Patricia Curd
22. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Simon Trepanier The Structure of Empedocles’ Fragment 17
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Fragment 17 of Empedocles has long been recognized as the most important in the corpus. In 1998, the significance of this 35-line fragment was further increased by the publication of the Strasbourg papyrus, containing roughly 74 lines of Empedocles.
23. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
David Boersema Review of The Philosophy of Biology, ed. David L. Hull and Michael Ruse and Sex and Death: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Biology, by Kim Sterelny and Paul E. Griffiths
24. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
William Fish The Direct/Indirect Distinction in Contemporary Philosophy of Perception
25. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Paul Coates Wilfrid Sellars, Perceptual Consciousness and Theories of Attention
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The problem of the richness of visual experience is that of finding principled grounds for claims about how much of the world a person actually sees at any given moment. It is argued that there are suggestive parallels between the two-component analysis of experience defended by Wilfrid Sellars, and certain recently advanced information processing accounts of visual perception. Sellars' later account of experience is examined in detail, and it is argued that there are good reasons in support of the claim that the sensory nonconceptual content of experience can vary independently of conceptual awareness. It is argued that the Sellarsian analysis is not undermined by recent work on change blindness and related phenomena; a model of visual experience developed by Ronald Rensink is shown to be in essential harmony with the framework provided by Sellars, and provides a satisfactory answer to the problem of the richness of visual experience.
26. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
David DeMoss Hunting Fat Gnu: How to Identify a Proxytype
27. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey S. Galko Ontology and Perception
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The ontological question of what there is, from the perspective of common sense, is intricately bound to what can be perceived. The above observation, when combined with the fact that nouns within language can be divided between nouns that admit counting, such as ‘pen’ or ‘human’, and those that do not, such as ‘water’ or ‘gold’, provides the starting point for the following investigation into the foundations of our linguistic and conceptual phenomena. The purpose of this paper is to claim that such phenomena are facilitated by, on the one hand, an intricate cognitive capacity, and on the other by the complex environment within which we live. We are, in a sense, cognitively equipped to perceive discrete instances of matter such as bodies of water. This equipment is related to, but also differs from, that devoted to the perception of objects such as this computer. Behind this difference in cognitive equipment underlies a rich ontology, the beginnings of which lies in the distinction between matter and objects. The following paper is an attempt to make explicit the relationship between matter and objects and also provide a window to our cognition of such entities.
28. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Massimo Grassia Consciousness and Perceptual Attention: A Methodological Argument
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Our perception of external features comprises, among others, functional and phenomenological levels. At the functional level, the perceiver’s mind processes external features according to its own causal-functional organization. At the phenomenological level, the perceiver has consciousness of external features. The question of this paper is: How do the functional and the phenomenological levels of perception relate to each other? The answer I propose is that functional states of specifically perceptual attention constitute the necessary basis for the arising of consciousness in a perceiver.Widely studied within cognitive psychology, perceptual attention is still awaiting a thoroughgoing philosophical treatment. The paper presents and draws upon Anne Treisman’s feature-integration theory of attention (cf. A. Treisman & G. Gelade, “A Feature-Integration Theory of Attention,” Cognitive Psychology, 12, 1980. Pp. 97-136). According to this theory, attentional mechanisms are responsible for the binding of perceptual features into coherent and stable objects of perception. By itself, I will claim, the theory of feature integration does not allow a straightforward reduction of consciousness to the functional processing underlying it. However, on the basis of Treisman’s theory we can produce a methodological argument for endorsing the non-reductivist thesis that attentional states constitute the necessary basis for the arising of consciousness in a perceiver. The paper closes by presenting this argument, according to which the thesis is implied by a unified account of the common representational natures of attentional and conscious states.
29. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Julia J. Aaron Review of In Search of Human Nature, by Mary E. Clark
30. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
David Newman Chaos and Qualia
31. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Uriah Kriegel Perceptual Experience, Conscious Content, and Non-Conceptual Content
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One of the promising approaches to the problem of perceptual consciousness has been the representational theory, or representationalism. The idea is to reduce the phenomenal character of conscious perceptual experiences to the representational content of those experiences. Most representationalists appeal specifically to non-conceptual content in reducing phenomenal character to representational content. In this paper, I discuss a series of issues involved in this representationalist appeal to non-conceptual content. The overall argument is the following. On the face of it, conscious perceptual experience appears to be experience of a structured world, hence to be at least partly conceptual. To validate the appeal to non-conceptual content, the representationalist must therefore hold that the content of experience is partly conceptual and partly non-conceptual. But how can the conceptual and the non-conceptual combine to form a single content? The only way to make sense of this notion, I argue, leads to a surprising consequence, namely, that the representational approach to perceptual consciousness is a disguised form of functionalism.
32. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Philip M. Adamek Review of Heidegger and Derrida on Philosophy and Metaphor: Imperfect Thought, by Giuseppe Stellardi
33. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Michael J. Almeida Review of Intuitions as Evidence, by Joel Pust
34. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Anne Margaret Baxley Review of The Idea of Humanity: Anthropology and Anthroponomy in Kant’s Ethics, by David G. Sussman
35. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Eric Brandon Review of Death and Philosophy, ed. Jeff Malpas & Robert C. Solomon
36. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
David Boersema Review of The Liberating Power of Symbols, by Jürgen Habermas, trans. Peter Dews; and The Postnational Constellation, by Jürgen Habermas, trans., ed. Max Pensky
37. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Peter H. Denton Review of Scientific Realism: Selected Essays of Mario Bunge, by Martin Mahner
38. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
C. Dyke Review of Modern Cosmology and Philosophy, ed. John Leslie
39. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Anthony Everett Review of Understanding the Many, by Byeong-uk Yi
40. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Robert Ferrell Review of French Theory in America, ed. Sylvére Lotringer and Sande Cohen