Are sensory properties represented in perceptual experience?

Philosophical Psychology 23 (6):721-740 (2010)
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Philosophers of perception widely agree that sensory properties, like color, are represented in perceptual experience. Arguments are usually needed to establish that something other than sensory properties, for example three-dimensional objects or kind properties, are part of perceptual content. Call the idea that sensory properties are represented in perceptual experience the Sensation View (SV). Given its widespread acceptance, we may expect to find strong reasons for holding SV. In this paper, I argue that we lack such reasons: SV is largely unjustified. We have surprisingly poor justification for thinking that sensory properties are represented in perception. By focusing on the case of vision, I show that an embedded understanding of visual perception, and empirical evidence in cognitive psychology, indicate that SV is far from warranted

Author's Profile

Nico Orlandi
University of California, Santa Cruz


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