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Bivs, Space and 'In'.

Mac Cumhaill, Clare (2020) 'Bivs, Space and 'In'.', Erkenntnis. .


I present a novel anti-sceptical BIV argument by focusing on conditions on the production and use of the locative preposition ‘in’. I distinguish two uses of ‘in’—material and descriptive phenomenological—and I explain in what respect movement is central to the concept that our use of ‘in’ expresses. I go on to argue that a functionalist semantics of the intelligible use of ‘in’ demands a materialist philosophy of action in the spirit of G.E.M. Anscombe, but also why the structure of space is not irrelevant either; appeal to the structure of space unsettles the causal-empirical assumptions that ground the picture of subjectivity and agency that the biv narrative assumes. Finally, I explain why a functionalist semantics demands a Naïve Realist metaphysics of perception, consistent with some of Putnam’s last writings on philosophy of perception.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date accepted:25 November 2019
Date deposited:20 February 2020
Date of first online publication:11 February 2020
Date first made open access:20 February 2020

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