The Puzzle of the Laws of Appearance

Philosophical Issues (forthcoming)
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Abstract
In this paper I will present a puzzle about visual appearance. There are certain necessary constraints on how things can visually appear. The puzzle is about how to explain them. I have no satisfying solution. My main thesis is simply that the puzzle is a puzzle. I will develop the puzzle as it arises for representationalism about experience because it is currently the most popular theory of experience and I think it is along the right lines. However, everyone faces a form of the puzzle, including the naïve realist. In §1 I explain representationalism about experience. In §§2-3 I develop the puzzle and criticize a response due to Ned Block and Jeff Speaks and another response based on a novel form of representationalism (“sensa representationalism”). In §4 I argue that defenders of “perceptual confidence” face an instance of the puzzle. In §5 I suggest that everyone faces a form of the puzzle.
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Archival date: 2020-05-14
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2020-05-14

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