Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Guy's Talk

I think that guy with his cut between:

1. Intentionality
2. Representationality
3. Propositionality

Is a little odd. If the him / Prof B. dudes claim that someone like me or King run together (1) and (3) I think the natural response is that for someone like me or King we cut it:

1. proto-intentionality
2. Representationality (intentionality)
3. Propositionality (intentionality)

I wanted to say something about Dan's question, but can't remember what it was. Could someone (preferably Dan himself) remind me of what that was?


Dan said...

Hi Wes,
I don't have the dudes handout here, so this will be a rough explication of my point...

He had as follows a challenge to the qualia realist:
(QRC) Hey qualia realist! You're committed to the view that there's something non-intensional about perceptual states! Redicule! Amazement! Non-Understanding! Flabbergastment! Beguilement!
.... roughly.....

He also has the following thesis:
(P) Perceptual states are "projected" by the mind to be out there in the world.

This is what Prof B would call a common metaphysical mistake. We take our perceptual states to be "out there", when in fact they're "in here".

My point:
(D) If you want to say that perceptual states are "projected", you have two options:
(1) This "projection" is a property of the perceptual states themselves
(2) "projection" is a relation between the perceptual states and some other cognitive state
I brought in a thought experiment that was supposed to show ~(2), and thus force him to accept (1). But if he accepts (1), then we have a property of the perceptual state that seems entirely representational, not intensional. The perceptual state represents itself as "out there".
The though experiment was to consider two individuals with the same mental state. Both of them are sort of absent-minded at the moment and not reflecting on anything. One of them is a solipsist who makes no metaphysical mistake, one is a normal person who does. If the normal person projects, and the solipsist does not then what explains this? Surely not their reflective attitudes toward their perceptual states, for they're in an absent-minded non-reflective mood. So it must be the perceptual states themselves that are somehow represented in different ways.
He didn't buy this. He thought that perceptual states are necessarily projected. I'm not sure if this is a good response since it doesn't speak against "projection" being a representational state. I'm really not sure what to think about it.

Wes McPherson said...

I'm inclined to deny (2) and accept (1).

I accept the Sellarsian line that perception involves a metaphysical mistake. It seems to me that when I have an immediate experience of a hand, I am taking the hand to be external. (I don't think that this is a bad thing.)

For Sellars, the sensation is internal. It is inside the phenomenal world. We give a transcendental reference into the real world. But really, molecules and junk are out there. The immediate experience is on the inside.

I suppose that in some sense perceptions are projected: in the sense that they are in phenomenal space and time. It seems perhaps they could be projected without being representational. In the same way a cannon can project something.

But this seems to be distinct from taking perceptions to be projected or taking perceptions to be representational.

In ordinary life, we seem to not take perceptions to be projected and not to take them to be representational. Science and philosophy seem to poison our naive realism. Then we take perceptions to be projected and representational.

I think I see you point. Do you think so?

I guess I'll also add that I accept what S. does: that a perception is a sensation (which is a representation) and a thought (which is a proposition) mixed together. So I'm not so sure about a 'pure intentional' state.

Dan said...

yes, I think we agree, perhaps a first?