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Perceptual Content Defended

Noûs 45 (4):714 - 750 (2011)

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  1. Two Versions of the Conceptual Content of Experience.Daniel E. Kalpokas - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (1):36-55.
    In ‘Avoiding the Myth of the Given’, McDowell revisits the main themes of Mind and World in order to make two important corrections: first, he does not longer believe that the content of perceptual...
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  • The Origins of Perceptual Knowledge.Susanna Schellenberg - 2017 - Episteme 14 (3):311-328.
    I argue that the ground of the epistemic force of perceptual states lies in properties of the perceptual capacities that constitute the relevant perceptual states. I call this view capacitivism, since the notion of a capacity is explanatorily basic: it is because a given subject is employing a mental capacity with a certain nature that her mental states have epistemic force. More specically, I argue that perceptual states have epistemic force due to being systematically linked to mind-independent, environ- mental particulars (...)
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  • Two Types of Visual Objects.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2015 - Studia Humana 4 (2):26-38.
    While it is widely accepted that human vision represents objects, it is less clear which of the various philosophical notions of ‘object’ adequately characterizes visual objects. In this paper, I show that within contemporary cognitive psychology visual objects are characterized in two distinct, incompatible ways. On the one hand, models of visual organization describe visual objects in terms of combinations of features, in accordance with the philosophical bundle theories of objects. However, models of visual persistence apply a notion of visual (...)
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  • Perception and Ordinary Objects.Alex Byrne - 2019 - In Javier Cumpa & Bill Brewer (eds.), The Nature of Ordinary Objects. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    The paper argues -- against the standard view in metaphysics -- that the existence of ordinary objects like tomatoes is (near-enough) established by the fact that such things are apparently encountered in perception.
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  • Phenomenal Specificity.Tony Cheng - 2014 - Dissertation, University College London
    The essay is a study of phenomenal specificity. By ‘phenomenal’ here we mean conscious awareness, which needs to be cashed out in detail throughout the study. Intuitively, one dimension of phenomenology is along with specificity. For example it seems appropriate to say that one’s conscious awareness in the middle of the visual field is in some sense more specific than the awareness in the periphery under normal circumstances. However, it is difficult to characterise the nature of phenomenal specificity in an (...)
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  • Perception as a Propositional Attitude.Daniel Kalpokas - forthcoming - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science.
    It is widely held that the content of perceptual experience is propositional in nature. However, in a well-known article, “Is Perception a Propositional Attitude?”, Crane has argued against this thesis. He therein assumes that experience has intentional content and indirectly argues that experience has non-propositional content by showing that from what he considers to be the main reasons in favour of “the propositional-attitude thesis”, it does not really follow that experience has propositional content. In this paper I shall discuss Crane’s (...)
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  • Experience and Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):699-747.
    I argue that perceptual experience provides us with both phenomenal and factive evidence. To a first approximation, we can understand phenomenal evidence as determined by how our environment sensorily seems to us when we are experiencing. To a first approximation, we can understand factive evidence as necessarily determined by the environment to which we are perceptually related such that the evidence is guaranteed to be an accurate guide to the environment. I argue that the rational source of both phenomenal and (...)
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  • Experience and Reason.Fabian Dorsch - 2011 - Rero Doc.
    This collection brings together a selection of my recently published or forthcoming articles. What unites them is their common concern with one of the central ambitions of philosophy, namely to get clearer about our first-personal perspective onto the world and our minds. Three aspects of that perspective are of particular importance: consciousness, intentionality, and rationality. The collected essays address metaphysical and epistemological questions both concerning the nature of each of these aspects and concerning the various connections among them. More generally, (...)
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  • Kant: Philosophy of Mind.Colin McLear - 2015 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Kant: Philosophy of Mind Immanuel Kant was one of the most important philosophers of the Enlightenment Period in Western European history. This encyclopedia article focuses on Kant’s views in the philosophy of mind, which undergird much of his epistemology and metaphysics. In particular, it focuses on metaphysical and epistemological doctrines forming the … Continue reading Kant: Philosophy of Mind →.
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  • Experience and Introspection.Fabian Dorsch - 2013 - In Fiona Macpherson & Dimitris Platchias (eds.), Hallucination. The MIT Press. pp. 175-220.
    One central fact about hallucinations is that they may be subjectively indistinguishable from perceptions. Indeed, it has been argued that the hallucinatory experiences concerned cannot— and need not—be characterized in any more positive general terms. This epistemic conception of hallucinations has been advocated as the best choice for proponents of experiential (or “naive realist”) disjunctivism—the view that perceptions and hallucinations differ essentially in their introspectible subjective characters. In this chapter, I aim to formulate and defend an intentional alternative to experiential (...)
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  • De Se Content and De Hinc Content.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Analysis 76 (3):334-345.
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  • Naïve Realism and the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):391-412.
    Perceptual experience has representational content. My argument for this claim is an inference to the best explanation. The explanandum is cognitive penetration. In cognitive penetration, perceptual experiences are either causally influenced, or else are partially constituted, by mental states that are representational, including: mental imagery, beliefs, concepts and memories. If perceptual experiences have representational content, then there is a background condition for cognitive penetration that renders the phenomenon prima facie intelligible. Naïve realist or purely relational accounts of perception leave cognitive (...)
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  • Perceptual Particularity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):25-54.
    Perception grounds demonstrative reference, yields singular thoughts, and fixes the reference of singular terms. Moreover, perception provides us with knowledge of particulars in our environment and justifies singular thoughts about particulars. How does perception play these cognitive and epistemic roles in our lives? I address this question by exploring the fundamental nature of perceptual experience. I argue that perceptual states are constituted by particulars and discuss epistemic, ontological, psychologistic, and semantic approaches to account for perceptual particularity.
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  • Neither/Nor.Clayton Littlejohn - 2019 - In Casey Doyle, Joe Milburn & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), New Issues in Epistemological Disjunctivism. Routledge.
    Abstract: On one formulation, epistemological disjunctivism is the view that our perceptual beliefs constitute knowledge when they are based on reasons that provide them with factive support. Some would argue that it is impossible to understand how perceptual knowledge is possible unless we assume that we have such reasons to support our perceptual beliefs. Some would argue that it is impossible to understand how perceptual experience could furnish us with these reasons unless we assume that the traditional view of experience (...)
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  • Pains and Sounds.Ivan V. Ivanov - 2011 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):143-163.
    I argue that an analogy between pains and sounds suggests a way to give an objective account of pain which fits well with a naïve perceptualist account of feeling pain. According to the proposed metaphysical account, pains are relational physical events with shared qualitative nature, each of which is constituted by tissue damage and the activation of nociceptors. I proceed to show that the metaphysical proposal is compatible with platitudes about pains being animate, private, and self-intimating states.
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  • Ontological Minimalism About Phenomenology.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):1-40.
    I develop a view of the common factor between subjectively indistinguishable perceptions and hallucinations that avoids analyzing experiences as involving awareness relations to abstract entities, sense-data, or any other peculiar entities. The main thesis is that hallucinating subjects employ concepts (or analogous nonconceptual structures), namely the very same concepts that in a subjectively indistinguishable perception are employed as a consequence of being related to external, mind-independent objects or property-instances. These concepts and nonconceptual structures are identified with modes of presentation types. (...)
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  • Introduction: Perception Without Representation.Keith Wilson & Roberta Locatelli - 2017 - Topoi 36 (2):197-212.
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  • Kind Properties and the Metaphysics of Perception: Towards Impure Relationalism.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):487-509.
    A central debate in contemporary philosophy of perception is between those who hold that perception is a detection relation of sensory awareness and those who hold that it is representational state akin to belief. Another key debate is between those who claim that we can perceive natural or artifactual kind properties, e.g. ‘being a tomato’, ‘being a doorknob’, etc. and those who hold we cannot. The current consensus is that these debates are entirely unrelated. I argue that this consensus is (...)
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  • The Non-Conceptuality of the Content of Intuitions: A New Approach.Clinton Tolley - 2013 - Kantian Review 18 (1):107-36.
    There has been considerable recent debate about whether Kant's account of intuitions implies that their content is conceptual. This debate, however, has failed to make significant progress because of the absence of discussion, let alone consensus, as to the meaning of ‘content’ in this context. Here I try to move things forward by focusing on the kind of content associated with Frege's notion of ‘sense ’, understood as a mode of presentation of some object or property. I argue, first, that (...)
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  • Talking About Looks.Kathrin Glüer - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (4):781-807.
    In natural language, looks-talk is used in a variety of ways. I investigate three uses of ‘looks’ that have traditionally been distinguished – epistemic, comparative, and phenomenal ‘looks’ – and endorse and develop considerations in support of the view that these amount to polysemy. Focusing on the phenomenal use of ‘looks’, I then investigate connections between its semantics, the content of visual experience, and the metaphysics of looks. I argue that phenomenal ‘looks’ is not a propositional attitude operator: We do (...)
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  • Perception and Evidence.Alex Byrne - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170:101-113.
    Critical discussion of Susanna Schellenberg's account of hallucination and perceptual evidence.
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  • In Defense of Perceptual Content.Susanna Schellenberg - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):409-447.
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  • Kant on Perceptual Content.Colin McLear - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):95-144.
    Call the idea that states of perceptual awareness have intentional content, and in virtue of that aim at or represent ways the world might be, the ‘Content View.’ I argue that though Kant is widely interpreted as endorsing the Content View there are significant problems for any such interpretation. I further argue that given the problems associated with attributing the Content View to Kant, interpreters should instead consider him as endorsing a form of acquaintance theory. Though perceptual acquaintance is controversial (...)
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  • Experience, Seemings, and Evidence.Indrek Reiland - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):510-534.
    Many people have recently argued that we need to distinguish between experiences and seemings and that this has consequences for views about how perception provides evidence. In this article I spell out my take on these issues by doing three things. First, I distinguish between mere sensations like seeing pitch black all around you and perceptual experiences like seeing a red apple. Both have sensory phenomenology in presenting us with sensory qualities like colors, being analog in Dretske's sense, and being (...)
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  • The Hybrid Contents of Memory.André Sant’Anna - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1263-1290.
    This paper proposes a novel account of the contents of memory. By drawing on insights from the philosophy of perception, I propose a hybrid account of the contents of memory designed to preserve important aspects of representationalist and relationalist views. The hybrid view I propose also contributes to two ongoing debates in philosophy of memory. First, I argue that, in opposition to eternalist views, the hybrid view offers a less metaphysically-charged solution to the co-temporality problem. Second, I show how the (...)
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  • Some Reflections on Husserlian Intentionality, Intentionalism, and Non-Propositional Contents.Corijn van Mazijk - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):499-517.
    This paper discusses Husserl’s theory of intentionality and compares it to contemporary debates about intentionalism. I first show to what extent such a comparison could be meaningful. I then outline the structure of intentionality as found in Ideas I. My main claims are that – in contrast with intentionalism – intentionality for Husserl covers just a region of conscious contents; that it is essentially a relation between act-processes and presented content; and that the side of act-processes contains non-representational contents. In (...)
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  • Burge’s Defense of Perceptual Content.Todd Ganson, Ben Bronner & Alex Kerr - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):556-573.
    A central question, if not the central question, of philosophy of perception is whether sensory states have a nature similar to thoughts about the world, whether they are essentially representational. According to the content view, at least some of our sensory states are, at their core, representations with contents that are either accurate or inaccurate. Tyler Burge’s Origins of Objectivity is the most sustained and sophisticated defense of the content view to date. His defense of the view is problematic in (...)
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  • Recent Work on Naive Realism.James Genone - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (1).
    Naïve realism, often overlooked among philosophical theories of perception, has in recent years attracted a surge of interest. Broadly speaking, the central commitment of naïve realism is that mind-independent objects are essential to the fundamental analysis of perceptual experience. Since the claims of naïve realism concern the essential metaphysical structure of conscious perception, its truth or falsity is of central importance to a wide range of topics, including the explanation of semantic reference and representational content, the nature of phenomenal consciousness, (...)
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  • Standing in a Garden of Forking Paths.Clayton Littlejohn - 2018 - In Believing in Accordance with the Evidence. Springer Verlag.
    According to the Path Principle, it is permissible to expand your set of beliefs iff (and because) the evidence you possess provides adequate support for such beliefs. If there is no path from here to there, you cannot add a belief to your belief set. If some thinker with the same type of evidential support has a path that they can take, so do you. The paths exist because of the evidence you possess and the support it provides. Evidential support (...)
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  • Phenomenal Evidence and Factive Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):875-896.
    Perceptions guide our actions and provide us with evidence of the world around us. Illusions and hallucinations can mislead us: they may prompt as to act in ways that do not mesh with the world around us and they may lead us to form false beliefs about that world. The capacity view provides an account of evidence that does justice to these two facts. It shows in virtue of what illusions and hallucinations mislead us and prompt us to act. Moreover, (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2018 - Noûs:1-50.
    I argue that perceptual consciousness is constituted by a mental activity. The mental activity in question is the activity of employing perceptual capacities, such as discriminatory, selective capacities. This is a radical view, but I hope to make it plausible. In arguing for this mental activist view, I reject orthodox views on which perceptual consciousness is analyzed in terms of peculiar entities, such as, phenomenal properties, external mind-independent properties, propositions, sense-data, qualia, or intentional objects.
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  • Implications of Intensional Perceptual Ascriptions for Relationalism, Disjunctivism, and Representationalism About Perceptual Experience.David Bourget - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):381-408.
    This paper aims to shed new light on certain philosophical theories of perceptual experience by examining the semantics of perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees an apple.” I start with the assumption, recently defended elsewhere, that perceptual ascriptions lend themselves to intensional readings. In the first part of the paper, I defend three theses regarding such readings: I) intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions ascribe phenomenal properties, II) perceptual verbs are not ambiguous between intensional and extensional readings, and III) intensional perceptual (...)
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  • Naïve Realism in Kantian Phrase.Anil Gomes - 2017 - Mind 126 (502):529-578.
    Early twentieth-century philosophers of perception presented their naïve realist views of perceptual experience in anti-Kantian terms. For they took naïve realism about perceptual experience to be incompatible with Kant’s claims about the way the understanding is necessarily involved in perceptual consciousness. This essay seeks to situate a naïve realist account of visual experience within a recognisably Kantian framework by arguing that a naïve realist account of visual experience is compatible with the claim that the understanding is necessarily involved in the (...)
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  • The Epistemic Significance of Experience.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:947-67.
    According to orthodoxy, perceptual beliefs are caused by perceptual experiences. The paper argues that this view makes it impossible to explain how experiences can be epistemically significant. A rival account, on which experiences in the “good case” are ways of knowing, is set out and defended.
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  • Why Do We Need Perceptual Content?Ayoob Shahmoradi - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):776-788.
    Most representationalists argue that perceptual experience has to be representational because phenomenal looks are, by themselves, representational. Charles Travis argues that looks cannot represent. I argue that perceptual experience has to be representational due to the way the visual system works.
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  • Against an Inferentialist Dogma.Thomas Raleigh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1397-1421.
    I consider the ‘inferentialist’ thesis that whenever a mental state rationally justifies a belief it is in virtue of inferential relations holding between the contents of the two states. I suggest that no good argument has yet been given for the thesis. I focus in particular on Williamson (2000) and Ginsborg (2011) and show that neither provides us with a reason to deny the plausible idea that experience can provide non-inferential justification for belief. I finish by pointing out some theoretical (...)
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  • How and Why Knowledge is First.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In A. Carter, E. Gordon & B. Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First. Oxford University Press.
    A defense of the idea that knowledge is first in the sense that there is nothing prior to knowledge that puts reasons or evidence in your possession. Includes a critical discussion of the idea that perception or perceptual experience might provide reasons and a defense of a knowledge-first approach to justified belief.
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  • Particularity of Content and Illusions of Identity.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (5):491-506.
    This paper argues that the accuracy of perceptual experiences cannot be properly characterized by using the particular notion of content without breaking one of the three plausible assumptions. On the other hand, the general notion of content is not threatened by this problem. The first assumption is that all elements of content determine the accuracy conditions of an experience. The second states that objects needed for the accuracy of experiences are physical entities that stand in a perceptual relation to a (...)
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  • Thisness and Visual Objects.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (1):17-32.
    According to the traditional view, visual objects can be characterized as bundles of features and locations. This initially plausible idea is contested within the contemporary psychology and philosophy of perception, where it is claimed that the visual system can represent objects as merely ‘this’ or ‘that’, in abstraction from their qualities. In this paper, I consider whether philosophical and psychological arguments connected with the rejection of the ‘bundle’ view of visual objects show that it is needed to postulate an additional, (...)
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  • Perception, Content, Generality.Andrea Giananti - 2020 - Theoria 86 (2):245-267.
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  • Husserl, Impure Intentionalism, and Sensory Awareness.Corijn Van Mazijk - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-19.
    Recent philosophy of mind has seen an increase of interest in theories of intentionality in offering a functional account of mental states. The standard intentionalist view holds that mental states can be exhaustively accounted for in terms of their representational contents. An alternative view proposed by Tim Crane, called impure intentionalism, specifies mental states in terms of intentional content, mode, and object. This view is also suggested to hold for states of sensory awareness. This paper primarily develops an alternative to (...)
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  • Phenomenal Evidence and Factive Evidence Defended: Replies to McGrath, Pautz, and Neta.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):929-946.
    This paper defends and develops the capacity view against insightful critiques from Matt McGrath, Adam Pautz, and Ram Neta. In response to Matt McGrath, I show why capacities are essential and cannot simply be replaced with representational content. I argue moreover, that the asymmetry between the employment of perceptual capacities in the good and the bad case is sufficient to account for the epistemic force of perceptual states yielded by the employment of such capacities. In response to Adam Pautz, I (...)
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  • The Nature and Role of First and Second Person Content.Christopher Peacocke - 2016 - Analysis 76 (3):345-354.
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  • Daubert’s Naïve Realist Challenge to Husserl.Matt E. M. Bower - 2019 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 96 (2):211-243.
    Despite extensive discussion of naïve realism in the wider philosophical literature, those influenced by the phenomenological movement who work in the philosophy of perception have hardly weighed in on the matter. It is thus interesting to discover that Edmund Husserl’s close philosophical interlocutor and friend, the early twentieth-century phenomenologist Johannes Daubert, held the naive realist view. This article presents Daubert’s views on the fundamental nature of perceptual experience and shows how they differ radically from those of Husserl’s. The author argues, (...)
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  • Can We See Natural Kind Properties?René Jagnow - 2015 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 44 (2):183-205.
    Which properties can we visually experience? Some authors hold that we can experience only low-level properties such as color, illumination, shape, spatial location, and motion. Others believe that we can also experience high-level properties, such as being a dog or being a pine tree. On the basis of her method of phenomenal contrast, Susanna Siegel has recently defended the latter view. One of her central claims is that we can best account for certain phenomenal contrasts if we assume that we (...)
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  • Representationalism and Anti-Representationalism About Perceptual Experience.Keith A. Wilson - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    Many philosophers have held that perceptual experience is fundamentally a matter of perceivers being in particular representational states. Such states are said to have representational content, i.e. accuracy or veridicality conditions, capturing the way that things, according to that experience, appear to be. In this thesis I argue that the case against representationalism — the view that perceptual experience is fundamentally and irreducibly representational — that is set out in Charles Travis’s ‘The Silence of the Senses’ (2004) constitutes a powerful, (...)
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  • What Motivates Fregean Anti-Individualism?Johan Peter Gersel - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):153-172.
    In Anti-Individualism and Knowledge Jessica Brown criticises views of content that combine Fregean Sense and anti-individualism. Brown assumes that all Fregean theories are motivated by a picture of the rational thinker as someone who will always have transparent access to the simple inferential consequences of his thoughts. This picture, Brown argues, is incompatible with anti-individualism about content. While traditional Fregean theories have indeed had such motivation, Brown’s mistake is in attributing this motivation to the modern Fregean anti-individualist. My goal in (...)
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  • Openness to the World:: An Enquiry Into the Intentionality of Perception.Giananti Andrea & Soldati Gianfranco - 2015 - Dissertation, L’Université de Fribourg
    When we perceive we are under the impression of being directly aware of concrete, mindindependent objects. We also consider perception as a basic, reliable source for acquiring beliefs and an effective means for coping with the environment. In the philosophical literature, this direct and basic character of perception is sometimes captured by saying that perception is openness to the world. Articulating, refining and vindicating as far as possible this commonsensical view of perception as openness to the world is the main (...)
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  • Naïve Realism, Hallucination, and Causation: A New Response to the Screening Off Problem.Alex Moran - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):368-382.
    This paper sets out a novel response to the ‘screening off problem’ for naïve realism. The aim is to resist the claim (which many naïve realists accept) that the kind of experience involved in hallucinating also occurs during perception, by arguing that there are causal constraints that must be met if an hallucinatory experience is to occur that are never met in perceptual cases. Notably, given this response, it turns out that, contra current orthodoxy, naïve realists need not adopt any (...)
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  • Perceptual Content and Relations.Susanna Schellenberg - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):49-55.
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