Tomorrow: two events in the Philosophy Department!
The Philosophy Department’s History of Philosophy Roundtable (HOPR) presents Peter Rosa (LUC), “A Mereological Reading of Spinoza’s Metaphysic” at 2:35!
Please note the format of this roundtable: A draft of the presenter’s work will be circulated around one week ahead of the roundtable. During the first 10-15 minutes of the meeting, the presenter will situate the project of the paper in its research context and suggest directions for helpful feedback. The remaining hour will then be a discussion based on the attendees’ reading of the draft, along the lines suggested by the presenter.
For more information and to be added to the HOPR e-mail list, please e-mail Peter Hartman (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kristen Irwin (email@example.com).
The Phenomenology Research Group (PRG) presents Kay Park (LUC), “Sellars and McDowell on Kant’s conception of sensation” at 4:00!
McDowell follows Sellars’s suggestion that intuitions should be construed as conceptual representations in Kant’s dominant usage of the term. For Kant often construes an intuition as a representation of an individual object, and takes such a representation to be the result of the synthesis of the productive imagination which follows the rules derived from the concepts of the understanding.
However, McDowell disagrees with Sellars’s interpretation of the notion of sensation which Kant characterizes as the matter of an empirical intuition. First, while Sellars argues that Kant implicitly presupposes the existence of sensations which do not involve the synthesis of the productive imagination, McDowell argues that such a postulation of the non-conceptual cannot be attributed to Kant. Second, while Sellars argues that the postulation of the non-conceptual representations of sheer receptivity is necessary in order to make the receptive aspects of our perceptual experience intelligible, McDowell argues that the receptive or non-discursive aspects of our perceptual experience can and should be explained in terms of the conceptual capacities operating in our empirical intuitions.
In this paper, I defend Wilfrid Sellars’s suggestions against McDowell’s conceptualist reading of Kant. First, I argue that Kant presupposes the existence of sensation which is not structured in terms of spatiotemporal intuitions through the analysis of Kant’s theories of intensive magnitude and transcendental reflection. Second, although McDowell’s conceptualist approach of an intuition attempts to secure the receptive aspects of our sensory intuition by characterizing it as comprising a non-discursive content, I argue that a conceptual content which is not discursive cannot be conceived.