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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 114, Issue 12, December 2017

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1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Lisa Miracchi, Perception First
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I develop a new account of perception on which it is metaphysically and explanatorily prior to illusion, hallucination, and perceptual experience (understood as neutral between these possibilities). I argue that this view can rival the mainstream experience-first representationalist approach in explanatory power by using competences as a key theoretical tool: it can help to explain the nature of perception, how illusion and hallucination depend on it, and how cognitive science can help to explain in virtue of what we perceive. According to the Competence View, perception is a kind of target-oriented activity that manifests the agent’s perceptual competence. This characterization of perception helps to explain the role of the subject in perception, as well as how perception has accuracy conditions. Illusion and hallucination are explained as degenerate exercises of perceptual competences. Lastly, I show the Competence View provides a flexible and robust framework for investigation in cognitive science.
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2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Daniel Dohrn, Nobody Bodily Knows Possibility
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Against modal rationalism, Manolo Martínez argues that elementary bodily mechanisms allow cognizers to know possibility. He presents an exemplary behavioral mechanism adapted to maximizing expected outcome in a random game. The bodily mechanism purportedly tracks probabilities and related possibilities. However, it is doubtful that cognizers like us can know metaphysical modalities purely by virtue of bodily mechanisms without using rational capacities. Firstly, Martínez’s mechanism is limited. But knowledge of probabilities arguably has to cover a variety of probabilistic outcomes. One may need an ability to calculate probabilities. Bodily mechanisms can realize such an ability, but this will presumably amount to instantiating rational capacities. Secondly, the purported connection between the items tracked by the bodily mechanism and genuine metaphysical possibilities is tenuous. There are points at which it may fail. Further, we would need to know by rational metaphysical considerations that the connection holds in order to bodily know possibilities.
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Index to Volume CXIV
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