What the Senses Cannot ‘Say’

Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):557-579 (2022)
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Some have claimed that there are laws of appearance, i.e. in principle constraints on which types of sensory experiences are possible. Within a representationalist framework, these laws amount to restrictions on what a given experience can represent. I offer an in-depth defence of one such law and explain why prevalent externalist varieties of representationalism have trouble accommodating it. In light of this, I propose a variety of representationalism on which the spatial content of experience is determined by intrinsic features of conscious subjects. I conclude by considering an externalist-friendly reworking of my proposal, but suggest that the success of such a reworking is dubious.

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Jon Morgan
Montclair State University


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