The Subject-Dependency of Perceptual Objects

Erkenntnis 87 (6):2827-2842 (2022)
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Entities that are, in ordinary perceptual situations, veridically presented as objects can be called ‘perceptual objects’. In the philosophical literature, one can find various approaches to the crucial features that distinguish the class of perceptual objects. While these positions differ in many respects, they share an important general feature: they all characterize perceptual objects as largely subject-independent. More specifically, they do not attribute a significant constitutive role to the perceptual relation connecting a fragment of the environment with a perceiving subject. Fragments of the environment are perceptual objects no matter whether they stand in a perceptual relation to any subject, mainly by virtue of having a certain physical structure. I question this common assumption, relying on Green’s ( 2019 ) definition of perceptual objects, arguing that a proper theory of perceptual objects should accommodate the constitutive role of perceptual relations. This is because there exist fragments of the environment that are perceptual objects only when they stand in a perceptual relation to a subject.

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Błażej Skrzypulec
Jagiellonian University


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