Environmental representationalists on afterimages and phosphenes: Putting our best foot forward

Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):531-546 (2004)
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Environmental representationalism is the position that phenomenal differences between visual experiences are determined by the representational claims those experiences make about the surrounding environment. Afterimage and phosphene experiences are an important and widely cited objection to this position. In this paper, I defend environmental representationalism from this objection. In particular, I point out several ways in which typical environmental representationalist accounts of these experiences are lacking while developing a more satisfying account which focuses on how the visual system generates its representations as well as on several of the unique temporally-extended features of afterimage/phosphene experiences.
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