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Thursday, 8 February 2018

The de re and the empirical

On the wake of the book I thought I could give a talk on the empirical and the de re. It is promised for early March in Porto Alegre.

The idea would be to develop a positional or indexical account of experience where sensibility is tied to what is around something, to a position, and not to a sensibilia. Sensible experience is a variety of experience, which is broader and is as far-reaching as in the pan-psychist image of Galen Stawson or in the pamn-perceptualist image of Whitehead. So, in the Lockean image of perception embraced by Whitehead, one experiences a res vera before one´s eyes no matter whether it appears to one´s senses as a dagger or as a stick. Say there is a dagger before one´s eyes, this will have effects apart from the sensible effects on one´s eyes. Experience has to do with where you are, or rather, what fills your deictic variables. There is far more experience than what the senses register, awareness through conceptual capacities is no more than the tip of the iceberg.

One of the advantages on the top of my head of such an approach is to make clear that Russell had the right intuition when he connected logical proper names with knowledge by acquaintance but the wrong epistemology of experience: experience doesn´t require contact in the sense of acquaintance, but it requires contact. Experience, to say quickly, is thoroughly external (and therefore one needs to exorcise empiricism as a heir of Descartes).


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