On Fore- and Background in Cognitive Phenomenology
Anders Nes (University of Oslo)

part of: Yet Another Workshop on Phenomenal Intentionality
November 30, 2014, 10:30am - 12:00pm
Department of Philosophy, Central European University

Gellner Room
Nador utca 9
Budapest 1051

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Katalin Farkas
Central European University
David Pitt
California State University, Los Angeles

Topic areas



Can we distinguish anything like fore- vs. background structures in
cognitive phenomenology? I think we can, and here try to articulate
some such structures. I consider the phenomenologies of speech
comprehension and reasoning. In each domain, I propose, we have an
experience of something, X, as meaning something, Y.  In some such
cases, our experience of X as meaning Y is an experience of X as
meaning Y in a manner that is capable of further elucidation, where
certain further, more or less specific and informative ways in which X
is means Y are more or less dimly anticipated. (The suggested
structure in consciousness here is akin to Husserl’s ideas about a
‘horizonal’ dimension of intentionality.) In other such cases, our
experience of X as meaning Y is rather one of X as ‘just’, ‘simply’ or
‘primitively’, meaning Y. I suggest this distinction has relevance to
the question how non-demonstrative inferences, whose plausibility are sensitive to vast stocks of background knowledge, may be justified for us, from within the perspective of phenomenal consciousness.

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