Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Observational concepts and experience
Author: Ivanov, Ivan V.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 216X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The thesis is intended to contribute to the growing understanding of the indispensable role played by phenomenal consciousness in human cognition, and specifically in making our concepts of the external world available. The focus falls on so called observational concepts, a type of rudimentary, perceptually-based objective concepts in our repertoire — picking out manifest properties such as colors and shapes. A theory of such concepts gets provided, and, consequently, the exact role that perceptual consciousness plays in making concepts of this sort available gets settled. In the first half of the thesis, observational concepts get construed as a special type of recognitional concepts. On an analogy with perceptual demonstratives, having such concepts would involve having non-trivial knowledge of their reference. The experiential basis of such concepts would, among other things, provide for such constitutive knowledge. The theoretical background relevant to the hypothesis gets provided in the first chapter. A defence of the hypothesis follows in the second. In the second half of the thesis, care is taken to distinguish among two ways in which the constitutive knowledge of the reference of an observational concept could be fleshed out. In the third chapter, perceptual experience is shown to provide the basis both for knowledge of observational properties by acquaintance, and for knowledge of the essence of such properties — provided that knowledge of essence gets construed in the right, modest way. It might be natural to take knowledge by acquaintance to be the sort relevant to observational concept possession, especially given that in the case of perceptual demonstratives this is the role likely played by experience. However, this initial impression proves to be mistaken. The constitutive knowledge of the referent of an observational concept turns out to consist in the capacity to determine a priori the essence of the respective property. To show this, an argument gets provided in the penultimate fourth chapter, based on the key role played by experiences of instances of observational properties in optimal viewing conditions in enabling the possession of the respective observational concept.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BD Speculative Philosophy