Having experience in view

On the conceptual and non-conceptual conditions for viewing the world


Abstracts submission deadline: June 15th, 2023

Papers submission deadline: November 30th, 2023

SUBMISSION EMAIL: synthesisjournalphilosophy@gmail.com


Anselmo Aportone (anselmo.aportone@uniroma2.it)

Pierluigi D’Agostino (pierluigi.dago92@gmail.com)

Erminia Di Iulio (erminia.di.iulio@uniroma2.it)

Experience is intuitively taken as involving both conceptual (or judgemental) and non-/pre- conceptual (or pre-/non-judgemental) capacities – note that ‘experience’ is broadly understood here as that ‘cognitive state’ or ‘cognitive activity’ by which a subject gets to an external object (whatever its status).

However, there have been philosophers doubting that any experience is such that it necessarily involves both capacities. This can be variously argued for.

To begin with, one might indeed reasonably maintain that a pre-/non-conceptual capacity is a sufficient condition for experience to occur. To this effect, it is arguable that experiencing an object does not imply a judgemental, conceptual state having that object as referent.

Additionally, one might think that experience – being non-conceptual – possesses accuracy-conditions which are not reproducible as truth-conditions, due to the fine-graininess of the former.

More radically, some have taken the more radical stance arguing that experience per se cannot be represented in any judgement at all, viz., that experience is incommensurably more informative than experiential judgements.

With this general framework in mind, we raise the following questions:

  1. What is to experience an object? What, if anything, should be included in our ontological theory for us to make sense of the possibility of identifying objects? More plainly, What are the conditions under which objects are identified or referred to properly?
  2. What is to experience a fact or state of affairs? In other words, What are the conditions under which experience is truly informative and therefore epistemically rewarding? Do they involve both conceptual and non-conceptual capacities or not?
  3. What are the roles of anticipation or pre-understanding of ‘images of the world’ in experience and judgement? What are the dynamics leading to prejudices and biases?

Obviously, this list makes no claim to exhaustivity, and further equally relevant questions may have their place.

Because the topic is not new in the history of philosophy, the central task of this issue is to consider the relevant topic with a strong focus on the impact an historico-philosophical perspective may have on it.

Papers should be submitted by November 30th, 2023. However, a first selection will be done on Abstracts. Abstracts should be sent by June 15th, 2023. Decision notifications on Abstracts will be sent by July 15th, 2023.

Please check the Submission page for details on format and authors’ submission guidelines.