Perceptual experiences of particularity

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 67 (6):1881-1907 (2024)
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Abstract

Philosophers of perception often claim that usual perceptual experiences not only present particulars but also phenomenally present them as particulars. Nevertheless, despite the initial plausibility of this thesis, it is not clear what exactly it means to say that particularity is phenomenally presented. The paper aims to provide a deeper analysis of the claim that perceptual experiences phenomenally present objects as particulars. In doing so, I distinguish two theses regarding phenomenally presented particularity: Generic Particularity and Specific Particularity. According to the first thesis, vision phenomenally presents particularity of objects, understood as a general characteristic that may be shared by many entities. The second thesis states that vision phenomenally presents particularity of objects, understood as an individual characteristic unique to each particular. I argue that, relying on knowledge concerning the functioning of perceptual mechanisms, vision does not phenomenally present generic particularity but it has certain abilities for presenting specific particularity.

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Błażej Skrzypulec
Jagiellonian University

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