Volume 34, 2008
Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Reasons without Inferences, References without Concepts
The aim of this paper is to focus on the phenomenon of selective attention as pointing out important psychological cases where it is arguable that we can have practical reasons without the capacity to carry out any relevant inference. Selective attention also would serve to show the possibility to have very basic demonstrative references to particular perceptual items without the possession of any concept. I will argue that if we assume 1) that believing can be taken as a kind of action and 2) that demonstrative references to particular empirical items in that so basic sense have an important epistemological role in all of our knowledge, then our conclusions would have a very large application. There would be reasons without inferences not only for acting but also for believing, and
demonstrative reference without concepts would be an uneliminable component of our knowledge.