Burge on Perception and the Disjunction Problem

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 30, Issue: 2, Page: 251-269

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Altschul, Jon
UPV/EHU Press; Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del PaĆ­s Vasco
Arts and Humanities
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According to the Disjunction Problem, teleological theories of perceptual content are unable to explain why it is that a subject represents an F when an F causes the perception and not the disjunction F v G, given that the subject has mistaken G's for F's in the past. Without an adequate explanation these theories are stuck without an account of how non-veridical representation is possible, which would be an unsettling result. In this paper I defend Burge's teleological theory of perception against the Disjunction Problem, arguing that a perceptual state's representing what I call an error-prohibiting disjunctive property is incompatible with the truth of perceptual anti-individualism. And because perceptual anti-individualism is at the heart of Burge's theory, I conclude that Burgeans need not be concerned with the Disjunction Problem.