An Argument for Shape Internalism

Erkenntnis 82 (4):819-836 (2017)
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Abstract

This paper is a defense of an internalist view of the perception of shapes. A basic assumption of the paper is that perceptual experiences have certain parts which account both for the phenomenal character associated with perceiving shapes—phenomenal shapes—and for the intentional content presenting shapes—intentional shapes. Internalism about perceptions of shapes is defined as the claim that phenomenal shapes determine the intentional shapes. Externalism is defined as the claim that perceptual experiences represent whatever shape the phenomenal shape reliably tracks. The argument against externalism proceeds in three steps. First, it is argued that phenomenal shapes are modality specific, such that a phenomenal shape that features in a visual perceptual experience cannot feature in a haptic perceptual experience, and vice versa. Second, it is argued that intentional shapes are amodal. Third, it is argued that externalism is incompatible with the fact that phenomenal shapes are modality specific and intentional shapes amodal.

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Jan Almäng
NLA Høgskolen

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