February 19, 2016 • Philosophy Colloquium: Matthew McGrath


Fri, 02/19/2016 - 15:00 to 17:00


The Spring 2016 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Matthew McGrath, University of Missouri, Columbia.  The title of his talk is "Knowing What Things Look Like."  (Abstract below.)

Friday, Feb 19, 2016, 3-5pm, Maloney Seminar Room, Social Sciences 224 (1145 E South Campus Drive 85721).

Walking through the supermarket, I see the avocados. I haven’t seen any labels. I don’t need to. I know those are avocados. Similarly, if you see a pumpkin on the desk in my office, you can know it’s a pumpkin from its looks. The phenomenology in such cases is that of “just seeing” that such and such. This phenomenology might make one think the knowledge gained is immediate. This paper argues, to the contrary, that in these target cases, the knowledge is mediate, depending as it does on one’s knowledge of what the relevant kind of thing looks like. To make the case requires an examination of the nature of knowing what Fs look like. Is such knowledge to be understood as knowledge of a fact, or rather as a kind of ability? From the conclusion that the knowledge in the target cases is not immediate, the paper concludes that perception does not afford us immediate knowledge concerning objects’ kinds



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