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Perceptual Content Defended

Noûs 45 (4):714 - 750 (2011)

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  1. 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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  • Introduction: Perception Without Representation.Keith Wilson & Roberta Locatelli - 2017 - Topoi 36 (2):197-212.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Illusionism: Making the Problem of Hallucinations Disappear.Rami El Ali - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Miami
    My dissertation contributes to a central and ongoing debate in the philosophy of perception about the fundamental nature of perceptual states. Such states include cases like seeing, hearing, or tasting as well as cases of merely seeming to see, hear, or taste. A central question about perceptual states arises in light of misperceptual phenomena. A commonsensical view of perceptual states construes them as simply relating us to the external and mind independent objects. But some misperceptual cases suggest that these states (...)
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  • Internalism and the Nature of Justification.Jonathan Egeland Harouny - 2020 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    There are many important dimensions of epistemic evaluation, one of which is justification. We don’t just evaluate beliefs for truth, reliability, accuracy, and knowledge, but also for justification. However, in the epistemological literature, there is much disagreement about the nature of justification and how it should be understood. One of the controversies that has separated the contemporary epistemological discourse into two opposing camps has to do with the internalism-externalism distinction. Whereas internalists defend certain core assumptions about justification from the pre-Gettier (...)
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  • A Puzzle About the Experience of Left and Right.Brian Cutter - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Imagine your mirror-inverted counterpart on Mirror Earth, a perfect mirror image of Earth. Would her experiences be the same as yours, or would they be phenomenally mirror-inverted? I argue, first, that her experiences would be phenomenally the same as yours. I then show that this conclusion gives rise to a puzzle, one that I believe pushes us toward some surprising and philosophically significant conclusions about the nature of perception. When you have a typical visual experience as of something to your (...)
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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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  • Is Mental Time Travel Real Time Travel?Michael Barkasi & Melanie G. Rosen - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (1):1-27.
    Episodic memory (memories of the personal past) and prospecting the future (anticipating events) are often described as mental time travel (MTT). While most use this description metaphorically, we argue that episodic memory may allow for MTT in at least some robust sense. While episodic memory experiences may not allow us to literally travel through time, they do afford genuine awareness of past-perceived events. This is in contrast to an alternative view on which episodic memory experiences present past-perceived events as mere (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Way Things Look: A Defence of Content.Andrea Giananti - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (3):541-562.
    How does perceptual experience disclose the world to our view? In the first introductory section, I set up a contrast between the representational and the purely relational conception of perceptual experience. In the second section, I discuss an argument given by Charles Travis against perceptual content. The third section is devoted to the phenomenon of perceptual constancy: in 3.1 I describe the phenomenon. In 3.2 I argue that the description given suggests a phenomenological distinction that can be deployed for a (...)
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  • Naive Realism, Representationalism, and the Rationalizing Role of Visual Perception.Craig French - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):102-119.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • “I Am the Original of All Objects”: Apperception and the Substantial Subject.Colin McLear - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (26):1-38.
    Kant’s conception of the centrality of intellectual self-consciousness, or “pure apperception”, for scientific knowledge of nature is well known, if still obscure. Here I argue that, for Kant, at least one central role for such self-consciousness lies in the acquisition of the content of concepts central to metaphysical theorizing. I focus on one important concept, that of <substance>. I argue that, for Kant, the representational content of the concept <substance> depends not just on the capacity for apperception, but on the (...)
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  • Outline of an Account of Experience.Anil Gupta - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (1):33-74.
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  • Appearances and the Metaphysics of Sensible Qualities: A Response to Ivanov.Andrea Giananti - 2020 - Topoi 39 (4):1011-1015.
    Siegel has argued that visual experience has content. Ivanov has convincingly shown that there is a confusion in Siegel’s argument between perception presenting property-instances and perception presenting properties as being instantiated. According to Ivanov, whether a revised version of Siegel’s argument succeeds depends on the metaphysics of sensible qualities. I argue that Ivanov’s argument rests on a mistake, and I conclude by suggesting how we might go about arguing for or against perceptual content.
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  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):114-133.
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  • Husserl, Impure Intentionalism, and Sensory Awareness.Corijn Van Mazijk - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (2):333-351.
    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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  • Please Mind the Gappy Content.Johan Gersel - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):219-239.
    Representationalist theories of experience face the problem that two sets of compelling intuitions seem to support the contrary conclusions that we should ascribe, respectively, singular contents and general contents to experience. Susanna Schellenberg has, in a series of articles, argued that we can conserve both sets of intuitions if we award a central explanatory role to the notions of gappy-contents and content-schemas in our theory of experience. I argue that there is difficulty in seeing how gappy-contents and content-schemas can fulfil (...)
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  • Perception Pragmatized: A Pragmatic Reconciliation of Representationalism and Relationalism.André Sant’Anna - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):411-432.
    This paper develops a theory of perception that reconciles representationalism and relationalism by relying on pragmatist ideas. I call it the pragmatic view of perception. I argue that fully reconciling representationalism and relationalism requires, first, providing a theory in which how we perceive the world involves representations; second, preserving the idea that perception is constitutively shaped by its objects; and third, offering a direct realist account of perception. This constitutes what I call the Hybrid Triad. I discuss how Charles Peirce’s (...)
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  • Spatial Experience and Special Relativity.Brian Cutter - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2297-2313.
    In recent work, David Chalmers argues that “Edenic shapes”—roughly, the shape properties phenomenally presented in spatial experience—are not instantiated in our world. His reasons come largely from the theory of Special Relativity. Although Edenic shapes might have been instantiated in a classical Newtonian world, he maintains that they could not be instantiated in a relativistic world like our own. In this essay, I defend realism about Edenic shape, the thesis that Edenic shapes are instantiated in our world, against Chalmers’s challenge (...)
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  • Are the Senses Silent? Travis’s Argument From Looks.Keith A. Wilson - 2018 - In John Collins & Tamara Dobler (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 199-221.
    Many philosophers and scientists take perceptual experience, whatever else it involves, to be representational. In ‘The Silence of the Senses’, Charles Travis argues that this view involves a kind of category mistake, and consequently, that perceptual experience is not a representational or intentional phenomenon. The details of Travis’s argument, however, have been widely misinterpreted by his representationalist opponents, many of whom dismiss it out of hand. This chapter offers an interpretation of Travis’s argument from looks that it is argued presents (...)
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  • How and Why Knowledge is First.Clayton Littlejohn - 2017 - In A. Carter, E. Gordon & B. Jarvis (eds.), Knowledge First. Oxford University Press. pp. 19-45.
    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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  • Max Scheler, Cousin of Disjunctivism.Mattia Riccardi - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (3):443-454.
    Disjunctivism has triggered an intense discussion about the nature of perceptual experience. A question in its own right concerns possible historical antecedents of the position. So far, Frege and Husserl are the most prominent names that have been mentioned in this regard. In my paper I shall argue that Max Scheler deserves a particularly relevant place in the genealogy of disjunctivism for three main reasons. First, Scheler’s view of perceptual experience is distinctively disjunctivist, as he explicitly argues that perceptions and (...)
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  • Intentionalism, Defeasibility, and Justification.Kathrin Glüer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1007-1030.
    According to intentionalism, perceptual experience is a mental state with representational content. When it comes to the epistemology of perception, it is only natural for the intentionalist to hold that the justificatory role of experience is at least in part a function of its content. In this paper, I argue that standard versions of intentionalism trying to hold on to this natural principle face what I call the “defeasibility problem”. This problem arises from the combination of standard intentionalism with further (...)
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  • Consciousness and Content in Perception.Bill Brewer - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):41-54.
    Normal perception involves conscious experience of the world. What I call the Content View, (CV), attempts to account for this in terms of the representational content of perception (Brewer, 2011, esp. ch. 4). I offer a new argument here against this view. Ascription of personal level content, either conceptual or nonconceptual, depends on the idea that determinate predicational information is conveyed to the subject. This determinate predication depends upon the exercise of certain personal level capacities for categorization and discrimination. Exercise (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):114-133.
    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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