Reflecting on Language from ‘Sideways-on’: Preparatory and Non-Preparatory Aspects-Seeing


  • Reshef Agam-Segal Auburn University



Aspect-seeing, I claim, involves reflection on concepts. It involves letting oneself feel how it would be like to conceptualize something with a certain concept, without committing oneself to this conceptualization. I distinguish between two kinds of aspect-perception:

1. Preparatory: allows us to develop, criticize, and shape concepts. It involves bringing a concept to an object for the purpose of examining what would be the best way to conceptualize it.

2. Non-Preparatory: allows us to express the ingraspability of certain experiences. It involves bringing a concept to an object for the purpose of showing—per impossible—what it would take to properly capture one’s experience.

I demonstrate the usefulness of the two kinds of aspect perception in making conceptual judgments, and in making moral and aesthetic judgments.


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