Talk by Robert Rupert

The History and Philosophy of Science research group of the Institute of Philosophy cordially invites you to a talk by Prof. Robert Rupert (University of Colorado, Boulder) entitled "The Primacy of Subpersonal Content". The talk is scheduled at 4 pm on the 24th of May.

In this talk, I argue that so-called subpersonal content is the primary form of mental content, by arguing that subpersonal content is the only kind of content that has a causal-explanatory role to play in cognitive science or, to the extent that personal-level content plays a causal-explanatory role in cognitive science, its doing so is strongly parasitic on the causal-explanatory role of subpersonal content. Among other points, I emphasize (i) a deep asymmetry in the modal profiles of the two kinds of content and (ii) the failure of the distinctive aspects of personal-level content (what is thought of as its robustly normative nature, for example) to do causal-explanatory work. Thus, if there is personal-level content, it derives from or depends upon a more fundamental kind of content, subpersonal content, not vice versa (contrary to claims of such philosophers as John McDowell).

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