The Objection from Objectivity

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


In this chapter, I turn to the claim that we cannot speak of perceptual content unless we assume it is objective content. The conceptualist argues that only conceptual content can meet the requirement of being objective. I start out by presenting the objection from objectivity as it can be found in McDowell (Mind and world, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1994a). I then discuss the following replies: First, even if objective perceptual experience requires the perceiver to have an objective world-view, the experience’s own content may be nonconceptual; second, perceptual objectivity can be had in virtue of mere nonconceptual personal-level abilities; third, a weaker kind of perceptual objectivity that does not even require personal-level capacities is substantial enough to provide for genuine perceptual content. The last reply is the one championed by Modest Nonconceptualism. All that genuine perceptual content presupposes is that the world is perceptually presented to the subject. This requirement can be elucidated via a subpersonal account of how the perceptual systems generate representations underlying her experiences that are poised to influence her central behavior-guiding system.


Perceptual Experience Perceptual System Perceptual State Perceptual Objectivity Objective World 
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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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