Nonconceptual apprehension and the reason-giving character of perception

Arnon Cahen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


I argue that the debate about the reason-giving character of perception, and, derivatively, the contemporary debate about the nature of the (non)conceptual content of perception, is best viewed as a confrontation with refined versions of the following three independently plausible, yet mutually inconsistent, propositions:Perceptual apprehension Some perceptions provide reasons directlyExclusivity Only beliefs provide reasons directlyBifurcation No perception is a belief I begin with an evaluation and refinement of each proposition so as to crystallize the source of the difficulties that dominate our thinking about the reason-giving character of perception. I argue that the contemporary literature is broadly split between those denying Bifurcation and those denying Perceptual apprehension. Though Exclusivity, too, has been target to criticism, its grip on our thinking has all too often been underestimated. As a result, a proper denial or modification of Exclusivity is yet wanting. Overcoming Exclusivity involves a considerable challenge that has not been adequately acknowledged or met—to develop a substantive account of nonconceptual apprehension. Getting a clearer understanding of the nature, the source, and possible resolution of this challenge is the primary aim of this paper.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2355-2383
Number of pages29
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

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© 2017, Springer Nature B.V.


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