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Talking about Looks
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
Number of Authors: 12017 (English)In: Review of Philosophy and Psychology, ISSN 1878-5158, E-ISSN 1878-5166, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 781-807Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In natural language, looks-talk is used in a variety of ways. I investigate three uses of 'looks' that have traditionally been distinguished - epistemic, comparative, and phenomenal 'looks' - and endorse and develop considerations in support of the view that these amount to polysemy. Focusing on the phenomenal use of 'looks', I then investigate connections between its semantics, the content of visual experience, and the metaphysics of looks. I argue that phenomenal 'looks' is not a propositional attitude operator: We do not use it to ascribe propositional attitudes to subjects, but to directly ascribe looks to objects, where looks are relational properties. However, I go on to argue that, given the way we use phenomenal 'looks', these relational properties are ultimately best understood as phenomenal relational properties, i.e. in terms of relations involving experiences. Along the way, I endorse Byrne's argument against Jackson's claim that phenomenal 'looks F' only takes predicates for colour, shape, and distance, and raise the issue of compositionality for the resulting view according to which phenomenal 'looks F' is context-dependent in a way that allows it to take a vast range of predicates. I conclude by arguing that these considerations concerning the natural language use of 'looks', and in particular its phenomenal use, are water on the mills of phenomenal intentionalism, a position in the philosophy of perception according to which experiences are propositional attitudes with phenomenal looks-contents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 8, no 4, p. 781-807
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-149962DOI: 10.1007/s13164-017-0350-7ISI: 000414287900005PubMedID: 29104706OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-149962DiVA, id: diva2:1170067
Available from: 2018-01-02 Created: 2018-01-02 Last updated: 2018-04-17Bibliographically approved

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