Abstract: Nonconceptualists maintain that there are ways of representing the world that do not reflect the concepts a creature possesses. They claim that the content of these representational states is genuine content because it is subject to correctness conditions, but it is nonconceptual because the creature to which we attribute it need not possess any of the concepts involved in the specification of that content. Appeals to nonconceptual content have seemed especially useful in attempts to capture the representational properties of perceptual experiences, the representational states of pre-linguistic children and non-human animals, the states of subpersonal visual information-processing systems, and the subdoxastic states involved in tacit knowledge of the grammar of a language. Nonconceptual content is also invoked in the explanation of concept possession, concept acquisition, sensorimotor behaviour, and in the analysis of the notion of self-consciousness. The notion of nonconceptual content plays an important role in many discussions about the relationships between perception and thought.
Comment: Survey article on nonconceptual content.