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  • 1.
    Almang, Jan
    Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    A NOTE ON SHAPES2015In: Journal of Philosophical Research (JPR), ISSN 1053-8364, E-ISSN 2153-7984, Vol. 40, p. 469-471Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has recently been argued that the Special Theory of Relativity entails that shapes are not intrinsic properties of objects. Rather, they are properties an object has only relative to an inertial frame. In this discussion note I argue that this position, while correct, is incomplete. Objects have frame-dependent shapes because they have an intrinsic property that is the same in all inertial frames.

  • 2.
    Almang, Jan
    University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Affordances and the Nature of Perceptual Content2008In: International journal of philosophical studies (Print), ISSN 0967-2559, E-ISSN 1466-4542, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 161-177Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to John McDowell, representational perceptual content is conceptual through and through. This paper criticizes this view by claiming that there is a certain kind of representational and non-conceptual perceptual content that is sensitive to bodily skills. After a brief introduction to McDowell's position, Merleau-Ponty's notion of body schema and Gibson's notion of affordance are presented. It is argued that affordances are constitutive of representational perceptual content, and that at least some affordances, the so-called 'conditional affordances', are essentially related to the body schema. This means that the perceptual content depends upon the nature of the body schema. Since the body schema does not pertain to the domain that our conceptual faculties operate upon, it is argued that this kind of perceptual content cannot be conceptual. At least some of that content is representational, yet it cannot feature as non-demonstrative conceptual content. It is argued that if it features as demonstrative conceptual content, it has to be captured by private concepts. Since McDowell's theory does not allow for the existence of a private language, it is concluded that at least some representational perceptual content is non-conceptual.

  • 3.
    Almang, Jan
    Arvika, Sweden.
    An Argument for Shape Internalism2017In: Erkenntnis, ISSN 0165-0106, E-ISSN 1572-8420, Vol. 82, no 4, p. 819-836Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is a defense of an internalist view of the perception of shapes. A basic assumption of the paper is that perceptual experiences have certain parts which account both for the phenomenal character associated with perceiving shapes-phenomenal shapes-and for the intentional content presenting shapes-intentional shapes. Internalism about perceptions of shapes is defined as the claim that phenomenal shapes determine the intentional shapes. Externalism is defined as the claim that perceptual experiences represent whatever shape the phenomenal shape reliably tracks. The argument against externalism proceeds in three steps. First, it is argued that phenomenal shapes are modality specific, such that a phenomenal shape that features in a visual perceptual experience cannot feature in a haptic perceptual experience, and vice versa. Second, it is argued that intentional shapes are amodal. Third, it is argued that externalism is incompatible with the fact that phenomenal shapes are modality specific and intentional shapes amodal.

  • 4.
    Almang, Jan
    Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    Perceiving Exploding Tropes2016In: Grazer Philosophische Studien, ISSN 0165-9227, E-ISSN 1875-6735, Vol. 93, no 1, p. 42-62Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The topic of this paper is the perception of properties. It is argued that the perception of properties allows for a distinction between the sense of the identity and the sense of the qualitative nature of a property. So, for example, we might perceive a property as being identical over time even though it is presented as more and more determinate. Thus, you might see an object first as red and then as crimson red. In this case, the property is perceived as identical over time, even though the sense of the qualitative nature ( the redness, the crimson redness) of the property is changing. The distinction between the sense of identity and the sense of quality is explicated in terms of perceiving a particular property, a trope, and perceiving it as an instance of a universal. It is subsequently argued that the perceived tropes cannot constitute the phenomenal character of the perceptual experience.

  • 5.
    Almang, Jan
    Gothenburg University, Göteborg, Sweden.
    Perceptual Transparency and Perceptual Constancy2014In: Husserl Studies, ISSN 0167-9848, E-ISSN 1572-8501, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A central topic in discussions about qualia concerns their purported transparency. According to transparency theorists, an experience is transparent in the sense that the subject having the experience is aware of nothing but the intended object of the experience. In this paper this notion is criticized for failing to account for the dynamical aspects of perception. A key assumption in the paper is that perceptual content has a certain temporal depth, in the sense that each act of perception can present an object as extended in time and that objects can be perceived as persisting through time. An object that is seen as persisting through time is often seen as constant and unchanging, even though the presentation of it is changing. In this paper it is argued that in order to account for these cases of perceptual constancy, we must distinguish between the awareness of having perceived that an object has a property at a certain point in time, and perceptually intending that it has that property at that point in time. Consequently, we must in at least some instances be aware of something more than the object of the experience. But precisely this distinction is rejected by the transparency theory.

  • 6.
    Almang, Jan
    Gothenburg, University.
    TENSE AS A FEATURE OF PERCEPTUAL CONTENT2014In: Journal of Philosophy, ISSN 0022-362X, E-ISSN 1939-8549, Vol. 111, no 7, p. 361-378Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Almang, Jan
    Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    The Causal Self-Referential Theory of Perception Revisited2013In: Dialectica, ISSN 0012-2017, E-ISSN 1746-8361, Vol. 67, no 1, p. 29-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a paper about The Causal Self-Referential Theory of Perception. According to The Causal Self-Referential Theory as developed by above all John Searle and David Woodruff Smith, perceptual content is satisfied by an object only if the object in question has caused the perceptual experience. I argue initially that Searle's account cannot explain the distinction between hallucination and illusion since it requires that the state of affairs that is presented in the perceptual experience must exist in order for the perception to be veridical. Smith's account is interestingly different in that the descriptive content, i.e. the content that presents the perceptual object as having certain properties, does not determine the object of the experience. His account consequently does not require that the state of affairs that is presented in perception exists in order for the perception to have an object. Smith argues instead that perceptual reference is determined by a specific kind of demonstrative content. In this paper it is argued that Smith's account of demonstrative content is too indeterminate and in certain circumstances prescribes the wrong object. It is subsequently argued that the theory of demonstrative content can be modified so as to avoid these consequences. This modification involves deriving the conditions of satisfaction of seeing an object from the conditions of satisfaction of seeing the shape of the object, where the shape of the object is conceived of as a particularized property, what is also called a trope'.

  • 8.
    Almang, Jan
    University West, Trollhättan, Sweden; University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Time, Mode and Perceptual Content2012In: Acta Analytica, ISSN 0353-5150, E-ISSN 1874-6349, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 425-439Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Francois Recanati has recently argued that each perceptual state has two distinct kinds of content, complete and explicit content. According to Recanati, the former is a function of the latter and the psychological mode of perception. Furthermore, he has argued that explicit content is temporally neutral and that time-consciousness is a feature of psychological mode. In this paper it is argued, pace Recanati, that explicit content is not temporally neutral. Recanati's position is initially presented. Three desiderata for a theory of time-consciousness are subsequently introduced. It is then argued that a theory locating time-consciousness as a feature of psychological mode will fail to satisfy these desiderata. In the last section the intentionality of memories is discussed. Using the notion of shiftable indexical, it is argued that memories have the same explicit content as perceptions, but that they nevertheless can have different conditions of satisfaction since they are entertained in different modes.

  • 9.
    Almang, Jan
    Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    Two Kinds of Time-Consciousness and Three Kinds of Content2013In: Axiomathes, ISSN 1122-1151, E-ISSN 1572-8390, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 61-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the distinction between perceiving an object as extended in time, and experiencing a sequence of perceptions. I argue that this distinction cannot be adequately described by any present theory of time-consciousness and that in order to solve the puzzle, we need to consider perceptual content as having three distinct constituents: Explicit content, which has a particular phenomenal character, modal content, or the kind of content that is contributed by the psychological mode, and implicit content, which lacks phenomenal character. These notions are then further clarified and related to each other.

  • 10.
    Almang, Jan
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).
    War, vagueness and hybrid war2019In: Defence Studies, ISSN 1470-2436, E-ISSN 1743-9698, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 189-204Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It has frequently been observed in the literature on hybrid wars that there is a grey zone between peace and war, and that hybrid wars are conflicts which are not clear cases of war. In this paper, I attempt to illuminate this grey zone and the concept and nature of war from the philosophical discussions of vagueness and institutional facts. Vague terms are characterized by the fact that there is no non-arbitrary boundary between entities which lie in their extension, and entities which do not lie in their extension. I apply a theory of vagueness to notions such as “war” and “peace” and go on to suggest that the exact boundary for what counts as a war or not is arbitrary. However, the context in which the conflict occurs determines a range of possible locations for this boundary. The most important contextual parameter is in this respect how the parties to the conflict themselves conceptualize the conflict. I suggest that this can in various ways help us understand grey-zone conflicts.

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