A rational empiricist information-based account of natural kind concepts

dc.contributor.advisorDever, Josh
dc.contributor.advisorBuchanan, L. Ray (Lawrence Ray)
dc.contributor.committeeMemberSainsbury, Richard Mark
dc.contributor.committeeMemberGarcia-Carpintero, Manuel
dc.creatorJimenez Cordero, Alejandro Bulmaro
dc.date.accessioned2022-08-29T22:24:07Z
dc.date.available2022-08-29T22:24:07Z
dc.date.created2022-05
dc.date.issued2022-05-06
dc.date.submittedMay 2022
dc.date.updated2022-08-29T22:24:08Z
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation develops—partly by building upon the work of British philosopher Gareth Evans—a novel account of the perception-based concepts of natural kinds that subjects form on the basis of ordinary sense perception. The account developed is named the ‘information-based account’. Its main claim is that in order for a subject to have a concept of the sort in question, they should establish certain causal-perceptual links with a natural kind that allow the subject to treat that natural kind as a spatially located object in their environment which constitutes a source of perceptual information. A subject who is equipped with such a concept is able to represent a natural kind in a rationally engaged manner that is commensurate with the intellectual profile of a rational subject who is able to purposefully direct their thought towards objects and features in their environment. By attributing this kind of concept to a rational subject, the dissertation is able to give an account of the conceptual and epistemic practices through which subjects rationally engage with perceptible natural kinds in their environment. Thus, the dissertation achieves a theory of perceptual representation that is both rationalist and empiricist, adopting a perspective that is referred to as ‘rational empiricism’. Interpreted as such, the information-based account is presented as an alternative, within rational empiricism, to a model of representation developed mainly by David Chalmers and Frank Jackson known as two-dimensionalism. It is argued that the information-based account preserves the advantages of the latter approach while avoiding many of its problems. Additionally, the dissertation discusses the implications of the information-based account with respect to anaphora, a linguistic phenomenon involving the use of pronouns, and the problem of phenomenal knowledge, which concerns the introspective knowledge that a conscious subject can obtain of the character of the perceptual or sensory states which they experience.
dc.description.departmentPhilosophy
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2152/115425
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.26153/tsw/42324
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectConcepts
dc.subjectRepresentation
dc.subjectNatural kinds
dc.subjectLanguage
dc.subjectPhilosophy
dc.subjectPhilosophy of mind
dc.subjectPhilosophy of language
dc.subjectSemantics
dc.titleA rational empiricist information-based account of natural kind concepts
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.materialtext
thesis.degree.departmentPhilosophy
thesis.degree.disciplinePhilosophy
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy

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