Article

Disjunctivism

Berit Brogaard

in Philosophy

ISBN: 9780195396577
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0033
Disjunctivism

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Disjunctivism—with respect to bodily or mental states or reasons of kind S—is the view that S-states (or reasons) can be divided into more fundamental kinds of entities that have different kinds of entities as their essential constituents, or that differ in what kind of information, evidence, or motivation they provide. The best-known version of disjunctivism is an offspring of one of the oldest theories of perception, known as naive realism. To a first approximation, naive realism is the view that perceptions have mind-independent objects among their constituents. Many historical philosophers (from John Locke to Bertrand Russell) argued that naive realism must be rejected on the grounds that hallucinations are perceptual experiences that do not have mind-independent objects among their constituents. Their reasoning, roughly, went as follows: Perceptions and hallucinations are constitutively on a par. Hence, either both perceptions and hallucinations have mind-independent objects among their constituents or neither does. As hallucinations do not have mind-independent objects among their constituents, neither do perceptions. Contemporary philosophers have resurrected the theory by treating perception and hallucination as having different kinds of entities among their constituents. This version of naive realism has come to be known as “the disjunctive conception of experience.” Epistemological disjunctivism and disjunctivism about phenomenal belief, or what I shall call “introspective disjunctivism,” have also gained popularity in recent years. Epistemological disjunctivism is the view that only genuine cases of perception provide (good) perceptual evidence. Introspective disjunctivism is the view that genuine phenomenal beliefs have phenomenal properties among their constituents. More recently, disjunctivist accounts of bodily movements, abilities, and reasons for action have entered the philosophical scene. These accounts treat the relevant bodily or mental entities as divisible into different kinds that have different kinds of entities among their constituents, or that satisfy different epistemic or practical constraints. This entry focuses on the contemporary debate about the different varieties of disjunctivism just outlined, including their characterization, their motivation, and their potential shortcomings.

Article.  6431 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art ; Epistemology ; Feminist Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Moral Philosophy ; Non-Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Language ; Philosophy of Law ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Religion ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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