Content, Concepts, Concept Possession

  • Eva Schmidt
Part of the Studies in Brain and Mind book series (SIBM, volume 8)


In this chapter, I clarify the notions of mental content and of concept. I present competing views on these notions and indicate my own position. I introduce content in terms of correctness conditions and distinguish several kinds of propositions, as well as non-propositional scenario content, with which perceptual content might be identified. I relate this discussion to a wide-spread commitment in philosophy of perception to respect the subject’s perceptual perspective in ascriptions of perceptual content. Then I compare views of concepts as Fregean senses, as mental representations, and as cognitive abilities and investigate how they relate to the central idea that concepts are possessed by subjects. I suggest that our talk of concept possession and exercise is anchored in subjects’ abilities for re-identification and for general thought and in their inferential abilities. I clarify how possession and exercise of these three conceptual abilities relate.


Perceptual Experience Visual Experience Generality Constraint Phenomenal Character Mental Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentSaarland UniversitySaarbrückenGermany

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