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Given : Experience and Its Content (Hardcover) (Michelle Montague)
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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.