Vision, Self‐Location, and the Phenomenology of the 'Point of View'

Noûs 48 (1):137-155 (2012)
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Abstract

According to the Self-Location Thesis, one’s own location can be among the things that visual experience represents, even when one’s body is entirely out of view. By contrast, the Minimal View denies this, and says that visual experience represents things only as "to the right", etc., and never as "to the right of me". But the Minimal View is phenomenologically inadequate: it cannot explain the difference between a visual experience of self-motion and one of an oppositely moving world. To show this, I argue (i) that these experiences are different in an important respect, (ii) that this difference is genuinely experiential, (iii) that it is visual, (iv) that it is not purely phenomenal, and (v) that it cannot be identified with anything other than the apparent motion of the self. So the Self-Location Thesis is upheld: reports of one’s own motion can correspond to aspects of visual experiences every bit as basic to their contents as the apparent motion or rest of the things one has in view

Author's Profile

John Schwenkler
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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