Burge on Perception and the Disjunction Problem

Jon Altschul


The Disjunction Problem states that teleological theories of perception cannot explain why a subject represents an F when an F causes the perception and not the disjunction F v G, given that the subject has mistaken G’s for F’s in the past.  Without a suitable answer, non-veridical representation becomes impossible to explain.  Here, I defend Burge’s teleological theory of perception against the Disjunction Problem, arguing that a perceptual state’s representing a disjunctive property is incompatible with perceptual anti-individualism.  Because anti-individualism is at the heart of Burge’s theory, I conclude that Burgeans need not be concerned with the Disjunction Problem.


perception, anti-Individualism, teleology, disjunction problem, twin earth

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1387/theoria.11008