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McDowell on Evans on Non-Conceptual Content

Wan-Chuan Fang



It is well known that John McDowell took a very dim view of the so-called non-conceptual content in general, and of that of Gareth Evans's version in particular. But the question of what Evans's non-conceptual content exactly is is not sufficiently explored in McDowell's discussion. There is strong evidence that at least with regard to some non-conceptual content such as perceptual information, Evans held a view similar to that of Alva Noë's which one may call the enactive view of (perceptual) content. With such an ‘enactive' factor in the non-conceptual content, Evans's arguments for the existence of non-conceptual content deserve a new look. What in addition needs to be reconsidered is the relationship between the non-conceptual content and the conceptual. By way of examining issues such as these, I want to critically examine McDowell's arguments against Evans.