The Given: Experience and its Content

ISBN : 9780198748908

Michelle Montague
272 Pages
135 x 216 mm
Pub date
Jun 2016
Send mail

What is given to us in conscious experience? The Given is an attempt to answer this question and in this way contribute to a general theory of mental content. The content of conscious experience is understood to be absolutely everything that is given to one, experientially, in the having of an experience. Michelle Montague focuses on the analysis of conscious perception, conscious emotion, and conscious thought, and deploys three fundamental notions in addition to the fundamental notion of content: the notions of intentionality, phenomenology, and consciousness. She argues that all experience essentially involves all four things, and that the key to an adequate general theory of what is given in experience-of 'the given'-lies in giving a correct specification of the nature of these four things and the relations between them. Montague argues that conscious perception, conscious thought, and conscious emotion each have a distinctive, irreducible kind of phenomenology-what she calls 'sensory phenomenology', 'cognitive phenomenology', and 'evaluative phenomenology' respectively-and that these kinds of phenomenology are essential in accounting for the intentionality of these mental phenomena.


1 Intentionality, phenomenology, consciousness, and content
2 A Brentanian theory of content
3 Awareness of awareness
4 P. F. Strawson's datum
5 Brentanianism, standard representationalism, and Fregean representationalism
6 Perception of physical objects: the phenomenological particularity fact
7 Perception of physical objects: the access problem
8 Cognitive phenomenology: what is given in conscious thought
9 Evaluative phenomenology: what is given in conscious emotion
Concluding remarks

About the author: 

Michelle Montague received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2002. She is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. She was previously an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine, from 2002 to 2007 and a senior lecturer at the University of Bristol from 2008 to 2013. She has been a visiting professor and scholar at Princeton University, MIT, ANU, the University of Copenhagen, and the University of London. Her primary interests are philosophy of mind, philosophy of language and metaphysics.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.