The Politics and the Metaphysics of Experience

  • Marianne Janack


This chapter argues that the dilemmas that arise about the proper place of experience in knowledge are artefacts of a particular theory of mind and the contents of experience: what Alva Noë calls the “brain photoreceptor” model. By giving up this model, we can see that the critiques of experience that have been leveled by feminist theorists and allied anti-foundationalists lose some of their bite. I argue that a model of mind that assumes a fully embodied and active subject—as the brain photoreceptor model does not—does not run into the same conundrums about experience.


Feminist Politics Discursive Practice Phenomenological Aspect Romantic Model Classical Empiricism 
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I’d like to thank Elizabeth Potter, Mary Varney Rorty, Alice Sowaal, David Stump, Ásta Sveinsdóttir, and Shelley Wilcox for very useful conversations about this chapter, and the opportunity to present it to them at the Bay Area Feminist Philosophy Colloquium in May, 2008. I’d also like to thank Charlotte Witt for her very helpful comments on an earlier draft, and Louise Antony with whom I had several interesting conversations about the issues raised by theories of mind.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hamilton CollegeClintonUSA

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