Do we have to choose between conceptualism and non-conceptualism?

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    It is today acknowledged by many that the debate about non-conceptual content is a mess. Over the past decades a vast collection of arguments for non-conceptual content piled up in which a variety of conceptions of what determines a state’s content is being used. This resulted in a number of influential attempts to clarify what would make a content non-conceptual, most notably Bermúdez’s classic definition, Heck’s divide into ‘state’ and ‘content’ (non-)conceptualism and Speaks’s ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ non-conceptualism. However, these interpretations, I argue, like the majority of non-conceptualist arguments, rest on a misconception of the conceptualist viewpoint. This has brought about an imbalance of the conceptualism/non-conceptualism dichotomy that has not been properly brought into view. This paper proceeds as follows: I first outline the central tenets of the conceptualist doctrine. Subsequently, I show that most of the main arguments of the past decades for non-conceptual content have little to no bearing on conceptualism. Third, I reveal that the definitions of Bermúdez, Heck and Speaks are unsuited to accommodate this asymmetry. Lastly, I claim that only a pluralistic understanding of these debates can reset the balance between conceptualism and non-conceptualism.
    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)645-665
    Aantal pagina's21
    TijdschriftInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
    Nummer van het tijdschrift5
    StatusPublished - 28-sep-2015

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