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Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Mind Group Talk (Gabriel Greenberg, UCLA)
Thursday October 11, 2018, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Mind Research Group welcomes Gabriel Greenberg, assistant professor in the UCLA Department of Philosophy. Professor Greenberg’s research is oriented around language, mind, and depiction. His publications include “Beyond Resemblance”, in Philosophical Review (2013), and “Varieties of Iconicity”, in a special issue of the Review of Philosophy and Psychology (2015).
When you suffer a hallucination, what kind of object, if any, figures in the content of your perceptual state? Who is the subject of your mental imagery when you imagine some person walking, as opposed to a particular person? Such questions lie at the heart of the theory of singular content for perception and mental imagery. In this talk I outline a new approach to visual singular content. The account draws from scholarship in formal linguistics that has found empirical reasons to posit discourse referents, abstract surrogates for real individuals that serve as focal points to which properties are attributed as discourse evolves. I’ll argue that parallel considerations carry over to the visual domain, suggesting the existence of abstract semantic elements I’ll call visual objects. The visual representation of concrete individuals is, I maintain, mediated by visual objects at a sense-like level of content. I’ll argue that this account fares better than alternative proposals in its assessment of the accuracy-conditions of hallucinations and indefinite mental imagery.
About the Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Mind Research Group
One of five departmental research interest groups, the Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Mind Group undertakes research in philosophy of mind, philosophy of cognitive science, traditional and formal epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of language.