Visual experience

In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 39-65 (2020)
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Abstract

A visual experience, as understood here, is a sensory event that is conscious, or like something to undergo. This chapter focuses on three issues concerning such experiences. The first issue is the so-called ‘transparency’ of experiences. The chapter distinguishes a number of different interpretations of the suggestion that visual experiences are ‘transparent’. It then discusses in what sense, if any, visual experiences are ‘transparent’, and what further conclusions one can draw from that. The second issue is which properties we are presented with in visual experiences. It is widely accepted that we sometimes experience red for example. But exactly which properties do we sometimes visually experience, and which properties do we never visually experience? The third issue is which particulars, if any, we are presented with in visual experiences. Do we for example sometimes visually experience mind-independent particulars like trees? Do we sometimes visually experience mind-dependent, particular ‘sense-data’?

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Pär Sundström
Umeå University

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