Publication Details

Hutto, D. (1998). Non-conceptual content and objectivity. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 6 (1998),


In recent times the question of whether or not there is such a thing as nonconceptual content has been the object of much serious attention. For analytical philosophers, the locus classicus of the view that there is such a phenomena is to be found in Evans remarks about perceptual experience in Varieties of Reference. He famously wrote:

In general, we may regard a perceptual experience as an informational state of the subject: it has a certain content -- the world is represented a certain way -- and hence it permits of a non-derivative classification as true or false. For an internal state to be so regarded, it must have appropriate connections with behaviour -- it must have a certain motive force upon the actions of the subject.... The informational states which a subject acquires through perception are non-conceptual, or nonconceptualised. Judgements based upon such states necessarily involve conceptualisation. (Evans 1982: 226-227).