Ray, Matt. “What We Do When We Recognize”, Boston College, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:107952.
What action or actions does a person perform when she recognizes someone? I argue she engages in a process composed of four parts. First, she attends to the subject in a particular manner. Second, she uses the information gathered in the first stage to categorize the subject. Third, she appreciates the import or significance of the subject in light of the category she employs. Fourth, she acknowledges the subject by engaging the subject’s attention as one who bears that import and that category. My analysis helps us interpret theories of recognition. One clarifies a theory’s specific claims by decomposing theories into instances of recognizing and then further analyzing each instance into discrete actions. First one determines how many instances of the process are involved by stating who does what to whom and for what end. Once instances are separated, one analyses each instance into its four components by describing the agent’s progress through the process of recognizing. The final result is an organizing body of specific claims with well-defined relations to one another.