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Constancy Mechanisms and Distal Content: a Reply to Garson


Schulte, Peter (2022). Constancy Mechanisms and Distal Content: a Reply to Garson. Philosophical Quarterly, 72(1):229-237.

Abstract

Sensory perceptions represent things in the outside world. This mundane fact raises a major problem for naturalistic theories of content: the ‘distality problem’. In a previous paper for this journal, I presented a solution to this problem which makes central appeal to constancy mechanisms. Justin Garson, also in this journal, recently criticized my solution and suggested a Dretskean alternative to it. Here, I defend my proposal by arguing, first, that Garson's criticisms ultimately miss the mark, and secondly, that his Dretskean alternative is not viable, because it faces two fundamental problems: the empirical problem and the problem of changing response functions.

Abstract

Sensory perceptions represent things in the outside world. This mundane fact raises a major problem for naturalistic theories of content: the ‘distality problem’. In a previous paper for this journal, I presented a solution to this problem which makes central appeal to constancy mechanisms. Justin Garson, also in this journal, recently criticized my solution and suggested a Dretskean alternative to it. Here, I defend my proposal by arguing, first, that Garson's criticisms ultimately miss the mark, and secondly, that his Dretskean alternative is not viable, because it faces two fundamental problems: the empirical problem and the problem of changing response functions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:2022
Deposited On:17 Feb 2022 12:59
Last Modified:28 Mar 2024 02:35
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0031-8094
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqab008