Perceptual Presence: an Attentional Account

Synthese 196 (7):2907-2926 (2019)
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It is a distinctive mark of normal conscious perception that perceived objects are experienced as actually present in one’s surroundings. The aim of this paper is to offer a phenomenologically accurate and empirically plausible account of the cognitive underpinning of this feature of conscious perception, which I shall call perceptual presence. The paper begins with a preliminary characterization of. I then consider and criticize the seminal account of proposed by Mohan Matthen. In the remainder of the paper I put forward and defend my own attentional account. I first outline a simple version of the view by focusing on vision and then extend it to audition. After discussing the case of depersonalization, I consider some objections. The last objection, in particular, will motivate a refinement of the attentional account for the visual case. The paper ends with some remarks mainly about the specificity of the visual case vis-à-vis the auditory one.

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Mattia Riccardi
University of Porto


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