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3.11. The Contents of Perception (The Contents of Perception on PhilPapers)

3.11a Conceptual and Nonconceptual Content

Ablondi, Frederick R. (2002). Kelly and McDowell on perceptual content. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7.   (Google)
Abstract: [0] In a recent issue of _EJAP_, Sean Kelly [1998] defended the position that perceptual content is non-conceptual. More specifically, he claimed that John McDowell's view that concepts involved in perception can be understood as expressible through the use of demonstratives is ultimately untenable. In what follows, I want to look more closely at Kelly's position, as well as suggest possible responses one could make on McDowell's behalf
Alm, Jan (2008). Affordances and the nature of perceptual content. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (2):161 – 177.   (Google)
Abstract: According to John McDowell, representational perceptual content is conceptual through and through. This paper criticizes this view by claiming that there is a certain kind of representational and non-conceptual perceptual content that is sensitive to bodily skills. After a brief introduction to McDowell's position, Merleau-Ponty's notion of body schema and Gibson's notion of affordance are presented. It is argued that affordances are constitutive of representational perceptual content, and that at least some affordances, the so-called 'conditional affordances', are essentially related to the body schema. This means that the perceptual content depends upon the nature of the body schema. Since the body schema does not pertain to the domain that our conceptual faculties operate upon, it is argued that this kind of perceptual content cannot be conceptual. At least some of that content is representational, yet it cannot feature as non-demonstrative conceptual content. It is argued that if it features as demonstrative conceptual content, it has to be captured by private concepts. Since McDowell's theory does not allow for the existence of a private language, it is concluded that at least some representational perceptual content is non-conceptual
Alston, William P. (1998). Perception and conception. In Pragmatism, Reason, and Norms: A Realistic Assessment. New York: Fordham University Press.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Ayers, Michael R. (2002). Is perceptual content ever conceptual? Philosophical Books 43 (1):5-17.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Balog, Katalin (2009). Jerry Fodor on Non-conceptual Content. Synthese 167 (3).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Proponents of non-conceptual content have recruited it for various philosophical jobs. Some epistemologists have suggested that it may play the role of “the given” that Sellars is supposed to have exorcised from philosophy. Some philosophers of mind (e.g., Dretske) have suggested that it plays an important role in the project of naturalizing semantics as a kind of halfway between merely information bearing and possessing conceptual content. Here I will focus on a recent proposal by Jerry Fodor. In a recent paper he characterizes non-conceptual content in a particular way and argues that it is plausible that it plays an explanatory role in accounting for certain auditory and visual phenomena. So he thinks that there is reason to believe that there is non-conceptual content. On the other hand, Fodor thinks that non-conceptual content has a limited role. It occurs only in the very early stages of perceptual processing prior to conscious awareness. My paper is examines Fodor’s characterization of non-conceptual content and his claims for its explanatory importance. I also discuss if Fodor has made a case for limiting non-conceptual content to non-conscious, sub-personal mental states.
Barber, Michael D. (2008). Holism and horizon: Husserl and McDowell on non-conceptual content. Husserl Studies 24 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: John McDowell rejects the idea that non-conceptual content can rationally justify empirical claims—a task for which it is ill-fitted by its non-conceptual nature. This paper considers three possible objections to his views: he cannot distinguish empty conception from the perceptual experience of an object; perceptual discrimination outstrips the capacity of concepts to keep pace; and experience of the empirical world is more extensive than the conceptual focusing within it. While endorsing McDowell’s rejection of what he means by non-conceptual content, and appreciating his insight into the experiential synthesis of intuition and conception (in particular, its role in grasping objects), I will argue that Edmund Husserl presents an even more comprehensive account of perceptual experience that explains how we experience the contribution of receptivity and sensibility and how they cooperate in perceptual discrimination. Further, it reveals “horizons”—a unique kind of contents, surplus content (rather than independent non-conceptual content)—beyond the synthesis of intuitive and conceptual contents through which objects are grasped. Such horizons play a constitutive role, making experience with its conceptual dimensions and justificatory potential possible; they in no way function like a bare given that is to fulfill some independent justificatory role. Whereas McDowell focuses on how experience does not take place in isolation from the exercise of conceptual capacities, Husserl complements his view by situating experience in a more encompassing whole and by elucidating the surplus-horizons that exceed the conceptual content of experience; play an inseparable, constitutive role within it; and indicate the limits of conceptual comprehension
Bermúdez, José Luis (1999). Cognitive impenetrability, phenomenology, and nonconceptual content. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):367-368.   (Google)
Abstract: This commentary discusses Pylyshyn's model of perceptual processing in the light of the philosophical distinction between the conceptual and the nonconceptual content of perception. Pylyshyn's processing distinction maps onto an important distinction in the phenomenology of visual perception
Bermudez, Jose Luis & Macpherson, Fiona (1998). Nonconceptual content and the nature of perceptual experience. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Abstract: [1] Recent philosophy of mind and epistemology has seen an important and influential trend towards accounting for at least some features of experiences in content-involving terms. It is a contested point whether ascribing content to experiences can account for all the intrinsic properties of experiences, but on many theories of experiences there are close links between the ascription of content and the ways in which experiences are ascribed and typed. The issues here have both epistemological and psychological dimensions. On the one hand, a theory of experiential content has a fundamental role in explaining how knowledge of the world can be acquired through experience. On the other hand, there are important psychological questions about the phenomenology of experiences and the conditions under which content ascriptions are made
Bermudez, Jose Luis (1995). Nonconceptual content: From perceptual experience to subpersonal computational states. Mind and Language 10 (4):333-69.   (Cited by 75 | Google | More links)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (online). Nonconceptual mental content. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Bermudez, Jose Luis (1994). Peacocke's argument against the autonomy of nonconceptual representational content. Mind and Language 9 (4):402-18.   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Bermúdez, José Luis (2007). What is at stake in the debate on nonconceptual content? Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):55–72.   (Google | More links)
Brewer, Bill (2005). Perceptual experience has conceptual content. In Ernest Sosa & Matthias Steup (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Abstract: I take it for granted that sense experiential states provide reasons for empirical beliefs; indeed this claim forms the first premise of my central argument for (CC). 1 The subsequent stages of the argument are intended to establish that a person has such a reason for believing something about the way things are in the world around him only if he is in some mental state or other with a conceptual content: a conceptual state. Thus, given that sense experiential states do provide reasons for empirical beliefs, they must have conceptual content
Brinck, Ingar (1999). Nonconceptual content and the distinction between implicit and explicit knowledge. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):760-761.   (Google)
Abstract: The notion of nonconceptual content in Dienes & Perner's theory is examined. A subject may be in a state with nonconceptual content without having the concepts that would be used to describe the state. Nonconceptual content does not seem to be a clear-cut case of either implicit or explicit knowledge. It underlies a kind of practical knowledge, which is not reducible to procedural knowledge, but is accessible to the subject and under voluntary control
Byrne, Alex (2003). Consciousness and nonconceptual content. Philosophical Studies 113 (3):261-274.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Byrne, Alex (2005). Perception and conceptual content. In Ernest Sosa & Matthias Steup (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. Blackwell.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Byrne, Alex (1996). Spin control. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Perception. Ridgeview.   (Google)
Chadha, Monima (2009). Contents of experience. Sophia 48 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I aim to situate the Naiyayika theory of perception in contemporary philosophy of mind. Following the ancients, I suggest we reconsider the taxonomy and the assumed interactions between kinds of perceptual content. This reclassification will lead us to reconsider some aspects of the Cartesian conception of mind that continue to influence the work of contemporary theorists. I focus attention on different accounts of sensory perception favoured by ancient Indian Naiyayika philosophers and Descartes as a starting point for reconsidering contemporary accounts of perceptual content.I show that Descartes' account of sensory perception provides the impetus for a causal-explanatory account of conceptual content in terms of its non-conceptual counterpart. Though contemporary philosophers claim to have cast off their Cartesian heritage, my discussion reveals that some of its tenets continue to influence the work of contemporary philosophers. I offer reasons for rejecting yet another Cartesian influence and recommend that we follow the Nyaya taxonomy of perceptual states
Chakrabarti, Arindam (2003). Perception, apperception and non-conceptual content. In Perspectives on Consciousness. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Chrisley, Ron & Parthemore, J. (2007). Synthetic phenomenology:Exploiting embodiment to specify the non-conceptual content of visual experience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (7):44-58.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Not all research in machine consciousness aims to instantiate phenomenal states in artefacts. For example, one can use artefacts that do not themselves have phenomenal states, merely to simulate or model organisms that do. Nevertheless, one might refer to all of these pursuits -- instantiating, simulating or modelling phenomenal states in an artefact -- as 'synthetic phenomenality'. But there is another way in which artificial agents (be they simulated or real) may play a crucial role in understanding or creating consciousness: 'synthetic phenomenology'. Explanations involving specific experiential events require a means of specifying the contents of experience; not all of them can be specified linguistically. One alternative, at least for the case of visual experience, is to use depictions that either evoke or refer to the content of the experience. Practical considerations concerning the generation and integration of such depictions argue in favour of a synthetic approach: the generation of depictions through the use of an embodied, perceiving and acting agent, either virtual or real. Synthetic phenomenology, then, is the attempt to use the states, interactions and capacities of an artificial agent for the purpose of specifying the contents of conscious experience. This paper takes the first steps toward seeing how one might use a robot to specify the non- conceptual content of the visual experience of an (hypothetical) organism that the robot models
Chrisley, Ronald L. (1994). Taking embodiment seriously: Nonconceptual content and robotics. In Kenneth M. Ford, C. Glymour & Patrick Hayes (eds.), Android Epistemology. MIT Press.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Chuard, Philippe (2006). Demonstrative concepts without reidentification. Philosophical Studies 130 (2):153-201.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Conceptualist accounts of the representational content of perceptual experiences have it that a subject _S_ can experience no object, property, relation, etc., unless _S_ "i# possesses and "ii# exercises concepts for such object, property, or relation. Perceptual experiences, on such a view, represent the world in a way that is conceptual
Chuard, Philippe (ms). Perceptual reasons.   (Google)
Abstract: According to Conceptualists like John McDowell and Bill Brewer, the representational content of perceptual experiences is wholly conceptual. One of the main!and only!arguments they advance for this claim has to do with the epistemological role of perceptual experiences. I focus on Bill Brewers "1999# version of the argument. I show why Brewer fails to satisfactorily motivate the premises of his argument, and suggest that opponents of Conceptualism could accept these premises without thereby endorsing the conclusion. Finally, I consider whether the conclusion really supports Conceptualism
Chuard, Philippe (2007). The Riches of experience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 9-10):20-42.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Suppose you see a red ball. Unless you happen to be in a psychologist
Clark, Andy (ms). Connectionism, nonconceptual content, and representational redescription.   (Annotation | Google)
Coliva, Annalisa (2003). The argument from the finer-grained content of colour experiences: A redefinition of its role within the debate between McDowell and non-conceptual theorists. Dialectica 57 (1):57-70.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Crane, Tim (1988). Concepts in perception. Analysis 48 (June):150-53.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Crane, Tim (1992). The nonconceptual content of experience. In Tim Crane (ed.), The Contents of Experience. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 110 | Google)
Crane, Tim (1988). The waterfall illusion. Analysis 48 (June):142-47.   (Cited by 18 | Google)
Crowther, T. M. (2006). Two conceptions of conceptualism and nonconceptualism. Erkenntnis 65 (2):245-276.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Though it enjoys widespread support, the claim that perceptual experiences possess nonconceptual content has been vigorously disputed in the recent literature by those who argue that the content of perceptual experience must be conceptual content. Nonconceptualism and conceptualism are often assumed to be well-defined theoretical approaches that each constitute unitary claims about the contents of experience. In this paper I try to show that this implicit assumption is mistaken, and what consequences this has for the debate about perceptual experience. I distinguish between two different ways that nonconceptualist (and conceptualist) proposals about perceptual content can be understood: as claims about the constituents that compose perceptual contents or as claims about whether a subject
Cunningham, Suzanne (1989). Perception, meaning, and mind. Synthese 80 (August):223-241.   (Google | More links)
Cussins, Adrian (2003). Content, conceptual content, and nonconceptual content. In York H. Gunther (ed.), Essays on Nonconceptual Content. MIT Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Cussins, Adrian (1993). Nonconceptual content and the elimination of misonceived composites. Mind and Language 8 (2):234-52.   (Google)
Cussins, Adrian (1990). The connectionist construction of concepts. In Margaret A. Boden (ed.), The Philosophy of AI. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 107 | Annotation | Google)
Abstract: The character of computational modelling of cognition depends on an underlying theory of representation. Classical cognitive science has exploited the syntax/semantics theory of representation that derives from logic. But this has had the consequence that the kind of psychological explanation supported by classical cognitive science is
_conceptualist_:
psychological phenomena are modelled in terms of relations that hold between concepts, and between the sensors/effectors and concepts. This kind of explanation is inappropriate for the Proper Treatment of Connectionism (Smolensky 1988)
Dokic, J (2001). Shades and concepts. Analysis 61 (3):193-201.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Dretske, Fred (2003). Sensation and perception (1981). In Essays on Nonconceptual Content. Cambridge MA: Bradford Book/MIT Press.   (Google)
Duhau, Laura (2009). Conceptuality and Generality: A Criticism of an Argument for Content Dualism. Crítica 41 (123):39-63.   (Google)
Forman, David (2006). Learning and the Necessity of Non-Conceptual Content in Sellars's "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind". In Michael P. Wolf & Mark Lance (eds.), The Self-Correcting Enterprise: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars. Rodopi.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: For Sellars, the possibility of empirical knowledge presupposes the existence of "sense impressions" in the perceiver, i.e., non-conceptual states of perceptual consciousness. But this role for sense impressions does not implicate Sellars' account in the Myth of the Given: sense impressions do not stand in a justificatory relation to instances of perceptual knowledge; their existence is rather a condition for the possibility of the acquisition of empirical concepts. Sellars suggests that learning empirical concepts presupposes that we can remember certain past facts that we could not conceptualize at the time they obtained. And such memory presupposes, in turn, the existence of certain (past) non-conceptual sensory states that can be conceptualized
Ginsborg, Hannah (2006). Empirical concepts and the content of experience. European Journal of Philosophy 14 (3):349-372.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Gómez-Torrente, Mario (1998). Report of an unsuccessful search for nonconceptual content. Philosophical Issues 9:369-379.   (Google | More links)
Gonzalez Arnal, Stella (2006). Non-articulable content and the realm of reasons. Teorema 25 (1):121-131.   (Google)
Gunther, York H. (2001). Content, illusion, partition. Philosophical Studies 102 (2):185-202.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Philosophers of mind have recently sought to establish a theoret- ical use for nonconceptual content. Although there is disagreement about what nonconceptual content is supposed to be, this much is clear. A state with nonconceptual content is mental. Hence, while one may deny that refrigerators and messy rooms have conceptual capacities, their states, as physical and not mental, do not have nonconceptual content. A state with nonconceptual content is also intentional, which is to say that it represents a feature of the world for a subject. It may be tempting to think of qualitative states as having nonconceptual content since they can be experienced by indi- viduals independently of their possession of the requisite concepts, e.g. someone could experience pains, itches or tingles without possessing the concept pain, itch or tingle. But on such a view, one would have to assume that qualitative states are representational since mental states cannot be candidates for nonconceptuality unless they have intentional properties.2
Gunther, York H. (ed.) (2003). Essays on Nonconceptual Content. MIT Press.   (Cited by 28 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Recent work by philosophers of mind and psychology on nonconceptual content.
Hamlyn, David W. (1994). Perception, sensation, and non-conceptual content. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (175):139-53.   (Google | More links)
Hanna, Robert (2005). Kant and nonconceptual content. European Journal Of Philosophy 13 (2):247-290.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Hanna, Robert (2008). Kantian non-conceptualism. Philosophical Studies 137 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: There are perceptual states whose representational content cannot even in principle be conceptual. If that claim is true, then at least some perceptual states have content whose semantic structure and psychological function are essentially distinct from the structure and function of conceptual content. Furthermore the intrinsically “orientable” spatial character of essentially non-conceptual content entails not only that all perceptual states contain non-conceptual content in this essentially distinct sense, but also that consciousness goes all the way down into so-called unconscious or subpersonal mental states. Both my argument for the existence of essentially non-conceptual content and my theory of its structure and function have a Kantian provenance
Heck, Richard G. (2007). Are there different kinds of content? In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Google)
Abstract: In an earlier paper, "Non-conceptual Content and the 'Space of Reasons'", I distinguished two forms of the view that perceptual content is non-conceptual, which I called the 'state view' and the 'content view'. On the latter, but not the former, perceptual states have a different kind of content than do cognitive states. Many have found it puzzling why anyone would want to make this claim and, indeed, what it might mean. This paper attempts to address these questions
Heil, John (1991). Perceptual experience. In Dretske and His Critics. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Hopp, Walter (2009). Conceptualism and the myth of the given. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):363-385.   (Google | More links)
Hutto, Daniel D. (1998). Nonconceptual content and objectivity. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: Aristotle once developed the difference between man and animal in the following way: animals can understand each other by indicating to each other what excites their desire so they can seek it, and what injures them, so they can flee from it. To men alone is logos given as well, so that they can make manifest to each other what is useful and harmful, and therefore what is right and wrong. A profound thesis. -- Gadamer, "Man and Language"
Heck Jr, Richard G. (2000). Nonconceptual content and the "space of reasons". Philosophical Review 109 (4):483-523.   (Google | More links)
Kelly, Sean D., Articles.   (Google)
Abstract: I begin by examining a recent debate between John McDowell and Christopher Peacocke over whether the content of perceptual experience is non-conceptual. Although I am sympathetic to Peacocke’s claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual, I suggest a number of ways in which his arguments fail to make that case. This failure stems from an over-emphasis on the “fine-grainedness” of perceptual content – a feature that is relatively unimportant to its non-conceptual structure. I go on to describe two other features of perceptual experience that are more likely to be relevant to the claim that perceptual content is non-conceptual. These features are 1) the dependence of a perceived object on the perceptual context in which it is perceived and 2) the dependence of a perceived property on the object it is perceived to be a property of
Kelly, Sean D. (2001). Demonstrative concepts and experience. Philosophical Review 110 (3):397-420.   (Cited by 21 | Google | More links)
Kelly, Sean D. (2001). The non-conceptual content of perceptual experience: Situation dependence and fineness of grain. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):601-608.   (Cited by 29 | Google | More links)
Kelly, Sean D. (2002). What makes perceptual content non-conceptual? Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Abstract: the world. 1 Whereas the content of our beliefs, thoughts, and judgements necessarily involves "conceptualization" or "concept application", the content of our perceptual experiences is, according to Evans, "non-conceptual". Because Evans takes it for granted that we are often able to entertain thoughts about an object in virtue of having perceived it, a central problem in
Kjosavik, Frode (2003). Perceptual intimacy and conceptual inadequacy: A Husserlian critique of McDowell's internalism. In Metaphysics, Facticity, Interpretation: Phenomenology in the Nordic Countries. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Pub.   (Google | More links)
Bengson, John; Grube, Enrico & Korman, Daniel Z. (forthcoming). A New Framework for Conceptualism. Noûs.   (Google)
Abstract: Conceptualism is the thesis that, for any perceptual experience E, (i) E has a Fregean proposition as its content and (ii) a subject of E must possess a concept for each item represented by E. We advance a framework within which conceptualism may be defended against its most serious objections (e.g., Richard Heck's argument from nonveridical experience). The framework is of independent interest for the philosophy of mind and epistemology given its implications for debates regarding transparency, relationalism and representationalism, demonstrative thought, phenomenal character, and the speckled hen objection to modest foundationalism.
Kovacs, David Mark (2009). Memory and Imagery in Russell's The Analysis of Mind. Prolegomena 8 (2):193-206.   (Google)
Abstract: According to the theory Russell defends in The Analysis of Mind, ‘true memories’ (roughly, memories that are not remembering-hows) are recollections of past events accompanied by a feeling of familiarity. While memory images play a vital role in this account, Russell does not pay much attention to the fact that imagery plays different roles in different sorts of memory. In most cases that Russell considers, memory is based on an image that serves as a datum (imagebased memories), but there are other cases in which memory judgment requires an image without being based on it (answer-memories). A good example for the former is when a person, asked what the colour of the sea was last afternoon, recalls an image and forms a judgment on this basis. In the second case she may recognize the sea and entertain a memory image of it without ‘reading off’ the memory judgment from this picture. That is, the image does not prompt but itself is part of the propositional content of answer memories. Since in this latter case the feeling of familiarity is constitutive of the recollection but cannot serve as its explanans, answer memories do not conform to Russell’s account. According to Lindsay Judson this is not a vice of the theory, since Russell never meant to extend it to answer memories. Despite having a certain appeal of benevolence, Judson’s interpretation is not supported by textual evidence. Taking side with David Pears, I will argue that Russell did not properly differentiate between image-based memory and answer memory, and illegitimately extended his theory to the latter.
Kriegel, Uriah (2004). Perceptual experience, conscious content, and nonconceptual content. Essays in Philosophy 5 (1):1-14.   (Google)
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Laurier, Daniel (2004). Nonconceptual contents vs nonconceptual states. Grazer Philosophische Studien 68 (1):23-43.   (Google)
Abstract: The question to be discussed is whether the distinction between the conceptual and the nonconceptual is best understood as pertaining primarily to intentional contents or to intentional states or attitudes. Some authors have suggested that it must be understood in the second way, in order to make the claim that experiences are nonconceptual compatible with the idea that one can also believe what one experiences. I argue that there is no need to do so, and that a conceptual content can be understood as being simply one which is composed of concepts, without compromising this intuitive view of the relation between beliefs and experiences
Lerman, Hemdat (2010). Non-conceptual experiential content and reason-giving. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):1-23.   (Google)
Abstract: According to John McDowell and Bill Brewer, our experiences have the type of content which can be the content of judgements - content which is the result of the actualization of specific conceptual abilities. They defend this view by arguing that our experiences must have such content in order for us to be able to think about our environment. In this paper I show that they do not provide a conclusive argument for this view. Focusing on Brewer's version of the argument, I show that it rests on a questionable assumption - namely, that if a subject can recognize the normative bearing of a mental content upon what she should think and do, then this content must be the result of the actualization of conceptual capacities (and in this sense conceptual). I argue that considerations regarding the roles played by experience and concepts in our mental lives may require us to reject this assumption
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Mandik, Pete (ms). Color-Consciousness Conceptualism.   (Google)
Abstract: The goal of the present paper is to defend against a certain line of attack the view that conscious experience of color is no more fine-grained that the repertoire of non- demonstrative concepts that a perceiver is able to bring to bear in perception. The line of attack in question is an alleged empirical argument - the Diachronic Indistinguishability Argument (DIA) - based on pairs of colors so similar that they can be discriminated when simultaneously presented but not when presented across a memory delay. My aim here is to show that this argument fails.
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Abstract: lt is widely held that entertaining a belief or forming a judgement involves the exercise of conceptual capacities; and to this extent the representational content of a belief or judgement is said to be "con— ceptual". According to Gareth Evans (1980), not all psychological states have conceptual content in this sense. In particular, perceptual states have non—conceptual content; it is not until one forms a judgement on the basis of a perceptual experience that one touches the realm of conceptual content
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Nes, Anders (2006). Content in thought and perception. Dissertation, Oxford University   (Google)
Abstract: The dissertation addresses a debate in the philosophy of perception between conceptualists and nonconceptualists. Its principal thesis is that the intentional content of a perceptual experience is the content of a thought that a reflective subject is in a position to think if she has the experience. I call this claim, endorsed by conceptualists, the thesis of content congruence. Two principal lines of argument are put forward for it. The first, ‘simple’ argument contends that a perceptual experience is a state in which it perceptually appears to the subject that things are thus and so; that a reflective subject who has an experience is in a position to think that things are thus and so; and that the subject in question, in doing so, thinks a thought with the same content as her experience. The second line of argument appeals to the role of perceptual experience in intentional explanation of observational beliefs. It makes the case that such explanation presumes that there is a non-trivial, non-vacuous law linking perceptual experiences with observational beliefs, and argues that an adherent of content congruence is significantly better placed to formulate such a law (consistently with her view) than her ‘content nonconceptualist’ opponent. The thesis of content congruence has often been associated in the literature with the thesis of state conceptualism, i.e. the claim that the representational capacities in virtue of the activation of which a perceptual experience has the content it has are conceptual. I reject the latter, and explain why we should not expect the denial of that claim, i.e. state nonconceptualism, to be incompatible with content congruence. I defend moreover the thesis of content congruence against the objection that it confuses sense and reference, and the objection that it leads to a viciously circular or otherwise inadequate account of observational or demonstrative concepts.
Noe, Alva (ms). Perception, action, and nonconceptual content.   (Google)
Abstract: profile deforms as we move about it. As perceivers we are masters of the patterns of sensorimotor contingency that shape our perceptual interaction with the world. We expect changes in such things as apparent size, shape and color to occur as we actively explore the environment. In encountering perspective-dependent changes of this sort, we learn how things are quite apart form our particular perspective. Our possession of these skills is constitutive of our ability to see (and generally to perceive). This is confirmed by the fact that we can disrupt a person
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Peacocke, Christopher (1992). Anchoring conceptual content: Scenarios and perception. In Cognition, Semantics and Philosophy. Norwell: Kluwer.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Peacocke, Christopher (2001). Does perception have a nonconceptual content? Journal of Philosophy 98 (5):239-264.   (Cited by 51 | Google | More links)
Peacocke, Christopher (1998). Nonconceptual content defended. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):381-388.   (Cited by 36 | Google | More links)
Peacocke, Christopher (1994). Nonconceptual content: Kinds, rationales, and relations. Mind and Language 4 (4):419-29.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Peacocke, Christopher (2001). Phenomenology and nonconceptual content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):609-615.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Phillips, Ian (2005). Experience and Intentional Content. Dissertation, Oxford University   (Google)
Abstract: Strong or Pure Intentionalism is the claim that the phenomenal character of any perceptual experience can be exhaustively characterized solely by reference to its Intentional content. Strong or Pure Anti -Intentionalism is the claim that the phenomenal character of any perceptual experience can be exhaustively characterized solely by reference to its non-Intentional properties
Poellner, Peter (2003). Non-conceptual content, experience and the self. Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (2):32-57.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Poston, Ted (online). Cognitive abilities and the conceptualist/nonconceptualist debate (long version).   (Google)
Pylyshyn, Zenon W. (ms). Visual indexes and nonconceptual reference.   (Google)
Raftopoulos, Athanassios & Müller, Vincent C. (2006). Nonconceptual demonstrative reference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):251-285.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The paper argues that the reference of perceptual demonstratives is fixed in a causal nondescriptive way through the nonconceptual content of perception. That content consists first in spatiotemporal information establishing the existence of a separate persistent object retrieved from a visual scene by the perceptual object segmentation processes that open an object-file for that object. Nonconceptual content also consists in other transducable information, that is, information that is retrieved directly in a bottom-up way from the scene (motion, shape, etc). The nonconceptual content of the mental states induced when one uses a perceptual demonstrative constitutes the mode of presentation of the perceptual demonstrative that individuates but does not identify the object of perceptual awareness and allows reference to it. On that account, perceptual demonstratives put us in a de re relationship with objects in the world through the non-conceptual information retrieved directly from the objects in the environment.
Raftopoulos, Athanasios (2008). Perceptual systems and realism. Synthese 164 (1).   (Google)
Abstract:  Constructivism undermines realism by arguing that experience is mediated by concepts, and that there is no direct way to examine those aspects of objects that belong to them independently of our conceptualizations; perception is theory-laden. To defend realism one has to show first that perception relates us directly with the world without any intermediary conceptual framework. The result of this direct link is the nonconceptual content of experience. Second, one has to show that part of the nonconceptual content extracted from the environment correctly represents features of mind independent objects. With regard to the first condition, I have argued elsewhere that a part of visual processing, which I call “perception,” is theory-neutral and nonconceptual. In this paper, facing the second demand, I argue that a part of the nonconceptual content of perception presents properties that are the properties of mind independent objects. I claim first that nonconceptual content is the appropriate level of analysis of the issue of realism since it avoids the main problems besetting various types of analysis of the issue at the level of beliefs about the world. Then I claim that a subset of the nonconceptual content presents features of objects in the environment as they really are
Roskies, Adina L. (2008). A new argument for nonconceptual content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):633–659.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper provides a novel argument against conceptualism, the claim that the content of human experience, including perceptual experience, is entirely conceptual. Conceptualism entails that the content of experience is limited by the concepts that we possess and deploy. I present an argument to show that such a view is exceedingly costly—if the nature of our experience is entirely conceptual, then we cannot account for concept learning: all perceptual concepts must be innate. The version of nativism that results is incompatible with naturalistic accounts of concept learning. This cost can be avoided, and concept learning accounted for if nonconceptual content of experience is admitted
Runzo, Joseph (1982). The radical conceptualization of perceptual experience. American Philosophical Quarterly 19 (July):205-218.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Schellenberg, Susanna (2006). Sellarsian perspectives on perception and non-conceptual content. In Mark Lance & Michael P. Wolf (eds.), The Self-Correcting Enterprise: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars. Rodopi.   (Google | More links)
Sedivy, Sonia (1996). Must conceptually informed perceptual experience involve nonconceptual content? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):413-31.   (Cited by 15 | Google)
Shieber, Joseph (forthcoming). On the Possibility of Conceptually Structured Experience: Demonstrative Concepts and Fineness of Grain. Inquiry.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I consider one of the influential challenges to the notion that perceptual experience might be completely conceptually structured, a challenge that rests on the idea that conceptual structure cannot do justice to the fineness of grain of perceptual experience. In so doing, I canvass John McDowell’s attempt to meet this challenge by appeal to the notion of demonstrative concepts and review some criticisms recently leveled at McDowell’s deployment of demonstrative concepts for this purpose by Sean D. Kelly. Finally, I suggest that, though Kelly’s criticisms might challenge McDowell’s original presentation of demonstrative concepts, a modified notion of demonstrative concept is available to the conceptualist that is proof against Kelly’s criticisms.
Shim, Michael K. (2005). The duality of non-conceptual content in Husserl's phenomenology of perception. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (2):209-229.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Recently, a number of epistemologists have argued that there are no non-conceptual elements in representational content. On their view, the only sort of non-conceptual elements are components of sub-personal organic hardware that, because they enjoy no veridical role, must be construed epistemologically irrelevant. By reviewing a 35-year-old debate initiated by Dagfinn F
Speaks, Jeff (2005). Is there a problem about nonconceptual content? Philosophical Review 114 (3):359-98.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In the past twenty years, issues about the relationship between perception and thought have largely been framed in terms of the question of whether the contents of perception are nonconceptual. I argue that this debate has rested on an ambiguity in `nonconceptual content' and some false presuppositions about what is required for concept possession. Once these are cleared away, I argue that none of the arguments which have been advanced about nonconceptual content do much to threaten the natural view that perception and thought are relations to the same kind of content.
Stalnaker, Robert (2003). What might nonconceptual content be? In York H. Gunther (ed.), Essays on Nonconceptual Content. MIT Press.   (Cited by 31 | Google | More links)
Stalnaker, Robert (1998). What might nonconceptual content be? Philosophical Issues 9:339-352.   (Google | More links)
Stoltz, Jonathan (2006). Sakya pandita and the status of concepts. Philosophy East and West 56 (4).   (Google)
Abstract: : The thirteenth-century Tibetan thinker Sakya Pandita was a diehard supporter of nominalism with respect to abstract entities. Here, two arguments given by Sakya Pandita against the robust existence of concepts (don spyi) are analyzed and elucidated. The first argument is rooted in the Buddhist idea that conceptual thought is unsound, whereas the second argument arises from considerations of intersubjectivity and verification. By presenting these arguments we gain both a fuller picture of the central role played by concepts within the Tibetan tradition of philosophy of mind and a better appreciation of the philosophical acuity of the Tibetan polymath Sakya Pandita
Toribio, Josefa (2007). Nonconceptual content. Philosophy Compass 2 (3):445–460.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Toribio, Josefa (2002). Perceptual experience and its contents. Journal Of Mind And Behavior 23 (4):375-392.   (Google | More links)
Toribio Matea, Josefa (2002). Perceptual experience and its contents. Journal of Mind and Behavior 23 (4):375-392.   (Google)
Toribio, Josefa (2008). State versus content: The unfair trial of perceptual nonconceptualism. Erkenntnis 69 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: It has recently been pointed out that perceptual nonconceptualism admits of two different and logically independent interpretations. On the first (content) view, perceptual nonconceptualism is a thesis about the kind of content perceptual experiences have. On the second (state) view, perceptual nonconceptualism is a thesis about the relation that holds between a subject undergoing a perceptual experience and its content. For the state nonconceptualist, it thus seems consistent to hold that both perceptual experiences and beliefs share the same (conceptual) content, but that for a subject to undergo a perceptual experience, the subject need not possess the concepts involved in a correct characterization of such content. I argue that the consistency of this position requires a non-Fregean notion of content that fails to capture the way the subject grasps the world as being. Hence state nonconceptualism leaves perceptual content attribution unsupported. Yet, on a characterization of content along the relevant (neo-Fregean) lines, this position would become incoherent, as it would entail that a subject could exercise cognitive abilities she doesn’t possess. I conclude that, given the notion of content demanded by the debate, the state view does entail the content view after all
Tye, Michael (1995). A representational theory of pains and their phenomenal character. Philosophical Perspectives 9:223-39.   (Cited by 30 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Tye, Michael (2006). Nonconceptual content and fineness of grain. In Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Tye, Michael (2006). Nonconceptual content, richness, and fineness of grain. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 13 | Google)
Tye, Michael (2005). On the nonconceptual content of experience. Schriftenreihe-Wittgenstein Gesellschaft.   (Google)
Abstract: I suppose that substantive philosophical theses are much like second marriages. The philo- sophical thesis I wish to discuss in this paper is the thesis that experiences have nonconceptual content. I shall not attempt to argue that _all_ experiences have nonconceptual content nor that the only contents experiences have are nonconceptual. Instead, I want to ? esh out the thesis of nonconceptual content for experience in more detail than has been offered hithertofore and to provide a variety of motivations for the view
Wolff, Franklin F. (1939). Concept, percept, and reality. Philosophical Review 48 (4):398-414.   (Google | More links)
Wrathall, Mark A. (2005). Non-rational grounds and non-conceptual content. Synthesis Philosophica 2 (40):265-278.   (Google | More links)
Wright, Wayne (2003). McDowell, demonstrative concepts, and nonconceptual representational content. Disputation.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In giving an account of the content of perceptual experience, several authors, including Fred Dretske, Gareth Evans, Christopher Peacocke, and Michael Tye, have employed the notion of nonconceptual representational content.[1]
Wu, Wayne (2008). Visual attention, conceptual content, and doing it right. Mind 117 (468).   (Google)
Abstract: Reflection on the fine-grained information required for visual guidance of action has suggested that visual content is non-conceptual. I argue that in a common type of visually guided action, namely the use of manipulable artefacts, vision has conceptual content. Specifically, I show that these actions require visual attention and that concepts are involved in directing attention. In acting with artefacts, there is a way of doing it right as determined by the artefact’s conventional use. Attention must reflect our understanding of the function and appropriate ways to use these artefacts, understanding that requires possession of the relevant concept. As a result, we attend to the artefact’s relevant functional properties. In these cases, attention is structured by concepts. This discussion has a bearing on the dual visual stream hypothesis. While it is often held that the two visual streams are functionally independent, the argument of this essay is that the constraints on attention suggest a functional interaction between them.

3.11b Color Experience

Baldwin, Thomas (1992). The projective theory of sensory content. In Tim Crane (ed.), The Contents of Experience. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 12 | Google)
Berchielli, Laura (1995). Representing color: Discussions and problems. In Bilder Im Geiste. Amsterdam: Rodopi.   (Google)
Billock, Vincent A. & Tsou, Brian H. (2004). Color, qualia, and psychophysical constraints on equivalence of color experience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (1):164-165.   (Google)
Abstract: It has been suggested that difficult-to-quantify differences in visual processing may prevent researchers from equating the color experience of different observers. However, spectral locations of unique hues are remarkably invariant with respect to everything other than gross differences in preretinal and photoreceptor absorptions. This suggests a stereotyping of neural color processing and leads us to posit that minor differences in observer neurophysiology may be irrelevant to color experience
Brogaard, Berit, Perceptual content and monadic truth: On Cappelen and Hawthorne's relativism and monadic truth.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: They call T1-T5 the ‘simple view’ or ‘Simplicity’ for short (I will use ‘Simplicity’ and ‘the monadic truth package’ synonymously). C & H say that Simplicity is neutral on what exactly propositions are. They may be Russellian or of some different variety. This, however, does not seem quite right. For example, it is not obvious that Simplicity and Fregeanism are compatible. The 1- intension of ‘That instantiates a property that normally gives rise to red sensations in me’ has a truth-value only relative to a centered world (or a triple of a world, an individual and a time) (Chalmers 2006b). So, Simplicity rules out a treatment of 1-intensions as propositions (and..
Hilbert, David R. & Byrne, Alex (web). How do things look to the color blind? In J. Cohen & M. Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. MIT Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Abstract: forthcoming in Color Ontology and Color Science, ed. J. Cohen and M. Matthen (MIT)
Campbell, John (2005). Transparency vs. revelation in color perception. Philosophical Topics 33 (1):105-115.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: What knowledge of the colors does perception of the colors provide? My first aim in this essay is to characterize the way in which color experience seems to provide knowledge of colors. This in turn tells us something about what it takes for there to be colors. Color experience provides knowledge of the aspect of the world that is being acted on when we, or some external force, act on the color of an object and thus make a difference to the experiences of people looking at it. It is in this sense that the nature of the colors is transparent to us. For there to be colors is for there to be the qualitative categorical properties that we encounter in perception, action on which affects the color experiences of observers. This line of thought contrasts with the idea that color experience reveals the colors to us, in the sense that it provides knowledge of a number of necessary truths about the colors. In a recent paper, Alex Byrne and David Hilbert provide a careful exposition and critique of this way of developing the idea of color experience as revelatory of the colors. In this paper my main aim is simply to contrast the idea that experience makes the colors transparent to us, with the idea that color experience provides us with knowledge of truths relating to the essences of the colors
Chalmers, David J. (2006). Perception and the fall from Eden. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In the Garden of Eden, we had unmediated contact with the world. We were directly acquainted with objects in the world and with their properties. Objects were simply presented to us without causal mediation, and properties were revealed to us in their true intrinsic glory
Churchland, Paul M. (2005). Chimerical colors: Some phenomenological predictions from cognitive neuroscience. Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):527-560.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The Hurvich-Jameson (H-J) opponent-process network offers a familiar account of the empirical structure of the phenomenological color space for humans, an account with a number of predictive and explanatory virtues. Its successes form the bulk of the existing reasons for suggesting a strict identity between our various color sensations on the one hand, and our various coding vectors across the color-opponent neurons in our primary visual pathways on the other. But anti-reductionists standardly complain that the systematic parallels discovered by the H-J network are just empirical correspondences, constructed post facto, with no predictive or explanatory purchase on the intrinsic characters of qualia proper. The present paper disputes that complaint, by illustrating that the H-J model yields some novel and unappreciated predictions, and some novel and unappreciated explanations, concerning the qualitative characters of a considerable variety of color sensations possible for human experience, color sensations that normal people have almost certainly never had before, color sensations whose accurate descriptions in ordinary language appear semantically ill-formed or even self-contradictory. Specifically, these "impossible" color sensations are activation-vectors (across our opponent-process neurons) that lie inside the space of neuronally possible activation-vectors, but outside the central 'color spindle' that confines the familiar range of sensations for possible objective colors. These extra-spindle chimerical-color sensations correspond to no reflective color that you will ever see objectively displayed on a physical object. But the H-J model both predicts their existence and explains their highly anomalous qualitative characters in some detail. It also suggests how to produce these rogue sensations by a simple procedure made available in the latter half of this paper. The relevant color plates will allow you to savor these sensations for yourself
Cohen, Jonathan, Color relationalism and color phenomenology.   (Google)
Abstract: Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations between subjects and objects. The most historically important form of color relationalism is the classic dispositionalist view according to which, for example red is the disposition to look red to standard observers in standard conditions (mutatis mutandis for other colors).1 However, it has become increasingly apparent in recent years that a commitment to the relationality of colors bears interest that goes beyond dispositionalism (Cohen, 2004; Matthen, 1999, 2001, 2005; Thompson, 1995). Accordingly, it is an important project for those interested in the metaphysics of color to sort through and assess different forms of color relationalism. There is, however, a powerful and general cluster of objections that has been thought by many to amount to a decisive refutation of any and all forms of color relationalism. Although this idea has been developed in a number of ways, the basic thought is that relationalism — qua theory of color — is at odds with the manifest evidence of color phenomenology, and that this clash between theory and data should be resolved by giving up the theory
Cohen, Jonathan & Matthen, Mohan (2010). Introduction. In Jonathan Cohen & Mohan Matthen (eds.), Color Ontology and Color Science. Mit Press.   (Google)
Abstract: The Introduction discusses determinables and similarity spaces and ties together the contributions to Color Ontology and Color Science.
Davis, Steven (ed.) (2000). Color Perception: Philosophical, Psychological, Artistic, and Computational Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Abstract: Color has been studied for centuries, but has never been completely understood. Digital technology has recently sparked a burgeoning interdisciplinary interest in color. The fact that color is a quality of perception rather than a physical quality brings up a host of interesting questions of interest to both artists and scholars. This volume--the ninth in the Vancouver Studies in Cognitive Science series--brings together chapters by psychologists, philosophers, computer scientists, and artists to explore the nature of human color perception with the aim to further our understanding of color by encouraging interdisciplinary interaction
Egan, Frances (2008). The content of color experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (2):407–414.   (Google | More links)
Eli Kalderon, Mark (online). The multiply qualitative.   (Google)
Abstract: What is the relation between colors and our experience of them? A na?ve thought is this?the phenomenal character of color experience is determined by the qualitative character of the perceived color. When Norm perceives a red tomato, the qualitative character of his color experience is determined by the qualitative character of the color manifest in his experience of the tomato. If however, colors are mind- independent qualities of material objects, as they seem, pre-philosophically to be, then this can seem to con?ict with the possibility, if it is one, of veridical perceptual variation. Indeed, it is largely on this basis that Shoemaker ?????? criticizes the version of representationalism defended by Hilbert and Kalderon ??????
Fisher, Justin C. (online). Color representations as hash values.   (Google)
Abstract: The goal of this paper is to answer the following question: When we have mental states that represent certain things as being colored, what properties are our mental states representing these things as having?
Fogelin, Robert J. (1984). Hume and the missing shade of blue. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (December):263-272.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Harman, Gilbert (1996). Explaining objective color in terms of subjective reactions. Philosophical Issues 7:1-17.   (Cited by 28 | Google | More links)
Harman, Gilbert (1996). Qualia and color concepts. Philosophical Issues 7:75-79.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Hardin, C. L. (2000). Red and yellow, green and blue, warm and cool: Explaining color appearance. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (8-9):113-122.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Hellie, Benj (2005). Noise and perceptual indiscriminability. Mind 114 (455):481-508.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Perception represents colors inexactly. This inexactness results from phenomenally manifest noise, and results in apparent violations of the transitivity of perceptual indiscriminability. Whether these violations are genuine depends on what is meant by 'transitivity of perceptual indiscriminability'.
Hilbert, David R. (web). Color constancy and the complexity of color. Philosophical Topics 33 (1):141-158.   (Google | More links)
Holman, Emmett L. (2002). Color eliminativism and color experience. Pacific Philosophical Quareterly 83 (1):38-56.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Jakab, Zoltan (2003). Phenomenal projection. Psyche 9 (4).   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Jakab, Zolt (2006). Revelation and normativity in visual experience. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):25-56.   (Google | More links)
Kalderon, Mark Eli, Color and the problem of perceptual presence.   (Google)
Abstract: Very often, objects in the scene before us are somehow perceived to be constant or uniform or unchanging in color, shape, size, or position, even while their appearance with respect to these features somehow changes. This is a familiar and pervasive fact about perception, even if it is notoriously difficult to describe accurately let alone adequately account for. These difficulties are not unrelated—how we are inclined to describ the phenomenology of perceptual constancy will affect how we are inclined to accoun for it
Kalderon, Mark Eli (forthcoming). Color Illusion. Nous.   (Google)
Abstract: As standardly conceived,an illusion is an experience of an object o appearing F where o is not in fact F. Paradigm examples of color illusion, however, do not fit this pattern. A diagnosis of this uncovers different sense of appearance talk that is the basis of a dilemma for the standard conception. The dilemma is only a challenge. But if the challenge cannot be met, then any conception of experience, such as representationalism, that is committed to the standard conception is false. Perhaps surprisingly, naïve realism provides a better account of color illusion.
Kalderon, Mark Eli (2008). Metamerism, constancy, and knowing which. Mind 117 (468):549-585.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: When Norm perceives a red tomato in his garden, Norm perceives the tomato and its sensible qualities
Kalderon, Mark Eli (online). The multiply qualitative.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Kemmerling, Andreas (2007). "The property of being red": On Frank Jackson's opacity puzzle and his new theory of the content of colour experience. Erkenntnis 66 (1-2).   (Google)
Abstract: Frank Jackson has a new objectivist and representationalist account of the content of colour-experience. I raise several objections both against the account itself and, primarily, against how he tries to support it. He argues that the new account enables us to see what is wrong with the so-called Opacity Puzzle. This alleged puzzle is an argument in which a seemingly implausible conclusion is derived from three premises of which seem plausible to an representationalist. Jackson
Kennedy, Matthew (2007). Visual awareness of properties. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):298–325.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I defend a view of the structure of visual property-awareness by considering the phenomenon of perceptual constancy. I argue that visual property-awareness is a three-place relation between a subject, a property, and a manner of presentation. Manners of presentation mediate our visual awareness of properties without being objects of visual awareness themselves. I provide criteria of identity for manners ofpresentation, and I argue that our ignorance of their intrinsic nature does not compromise the viability of a theory that employs them. In closing, I argue that the proposed manners of presentation are consistent with key direct-realist claims about the structure of visual awareness
Kennedy, Matthew (2007). Visual Awareness of Properties. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):298-325.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I defend a view of the structure of visual property-awareness by considering the phenomenon of perceptual constancy. I argue that visual property-awareness is a three-place relation between a subject, a property, and a manner of presentation. Manners of presentation mediate our visual awareness of properties without being objects of visual awareness themselves. I provide criteria of identity for manners of presentation, and I argue that our ignorance of their intrinsic nature does not compromise the viability of a theory that employs them. In closing, I argue that the proposed manners of presentation are consistent with key direct-realist claims about the structure of visual awareness.
Krivin, Richard (2004). The what and how of color experience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (1):165-166.   (Google)
Abstract: Palmer (1999) and the commentators examine whether qualia are produced by the relational processes of functionalism. This is an exploration of how qualia are produced. The wealth of data provided by the target article and the commentaries also provide information about what qualia are. The present commentary further explores this topic
Levine, Joseph (2006). Color and color experience: Colors as ways of appearing. Dialectica 60 (3):269-282.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I argue that color is a relational feature of the distal objects of perception, a way of appearing. I begin by outlining three constraints any theory of color should satisfy: (i) physicalism about the non-mental world, (ii) consistency with what is known from color science, and (iii) transparency about color experience. Traditional positions on the ontological status of color, such as physicalist reduction of color to spectral re?ectance, subjectivism, dispositional- ism, and primitivism, fail, I claim, to meet all three constraints. By treating color as a relational property, a way of appearing, the three constraints can be met. However, serious problems for this view emerge when considering the relation between illusory color experiences (particularly hallucinations) and veridical color experiences. I do not propose a solution to these problems
Macpherson, Fiona (2005). Colour inversion problems for representationalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):127-152.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I examine whether representationalism can account for various thought experiments about colour inversions. Representationalism is, at minimum, the view that, necessarily, if two experiences have the same representational content then they have the same phenomenal character. I argue that representationalism ought to be rejected if one holds externalist views about experiential content and one holds traditional exter- nalist views about the nature of the content of propositional attitudes. Thus, colour inver- sion scenarios are more damaging to externalist representationalist views than have been previously thought. More specifically, I argue that representationalists who endorse externalism about experiential content either have to become internalists about the content of propositional attitudes or they have to adopt a novel variety of externalism about the content of propositional attitudes. This novel type of propositional attitude externalism is investigated. It can be seen that adopting it forces one to reject Putnam
Macpherson, Fiona (forthcoming). 'Cognitive penetration of colour experience: Rethinking the issue in light of an indirect mechanism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.   (Google)
Abstract: Can the phenomenal character of perceptual experience be altered by the states of one’s cognitive system, for example, one’s thoughts or beliefs? Ifone thinks that this can happen [at least in certain ways that are identWed in the paper] then one thinks that there can be cognitive penetration of perceptual experience; otherwise, one thinks that perceptual experience is cognitivelv impenetrable. I claim that there is one alleged case ofcognitive penetration that cannot be explained away by the standard strategies one can typicallv use to explain away alleged cases. The case is one in which it seems subjects’ beliefs about the typical colour of objects ajfects their colour experience. I propose a two-step mechanism of indirect cognitive penetration that explains how cognitive penetration may occur. I show that there is independent evidence that each step in this process can occur. I suspect that people who are opposed to the idea that perceptual experience is cognitivelv penetrable will be less opposed to the idea when they come to consider this indirect mechanism and that those who are generallv sympathetic to the idea ofcognitive penetrability will welcome the elucidation ofthis plausible mechanism
Macpherson, Fiona (2003). Novel colours and the content of experience. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):43-66.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I propose a counterexample to naturalistic representational theories of phenomenal character. The counterexample is generated by experiences of novel colours reported by Crane and Piantanida. I consider various replies that a representationalist might make, including whether novel colours could be possible colours of objects and whether one can account for novel colours as one would account for binary colours or colour mixtures. I argue that none of these strategies is successful and therefore that one cannot fully explain the nature of the phenomenal character of perceptual experiences using a naturalistic conception of representation
Matthen, Mohan (2009). Truly blue: An adverbial aspect of perceptual representation. Analysis 69 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: It commonly occurs that one person sees a particular colour chip B as saturated blue with no admixture of red or green (i.e., as “uniquely blue”), while another sees it as a somewhat greenish blue. Such a difference is often accompanied by agreement with respect to colour matching – the two persons may mostly agree when asked whether two chips are of the same colour, and this may be so across the whole range of colours. Asked whether B is the same or different from other chips, they mostly agree – though they continue to disagree about whether B is uniquely blue. I shall argue that in such cases neither individual misperceives what colour B is. They differ, rather, in how they perceive the colour of B
Matthen, Mohan P. (1999). The disunity of color. Philosophical Review 108 (1):47-84.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Abstract: What is color? What is color vision? Most philosophers answer by reference to humans: to human color qualia, or to the environmental properties or "quality spaces" perceived by humans. It is argued, with reference to empirical findings concerning comparative color vision and the evolution of color vision, that all such attempts are mistaken. An adequate definition of color vision must eschew reference to its outputs in the human cognition and refer only to inputs: color vision consists in the use of wavelength discrimination in the construction of visual representations. A color quality is one that is generated from such processing
McLaughlin, Brian P. (2003). Color, consciousness, and color consciousness. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 20 | Google)
Menzies, Peter (2009). The Folk Theory of Colours and the Causes of Colour Experience. In Ian Ravenscroft (ed.), Minds, Ethics, and Conditionals: Themes from the Philosophy of Frank Jackson. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Morreall, John (1982). Hume's missing shade of blue. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 42 (March):407-415.   (Google | More links)
Palmer, Stephen E. (1999). On qualia, relations, and structure in color experience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):976-985.   (Google)
Abstract: In this Response, I defend the notion of intrinsic qualities of experience, discuss the distinction between relational experience and relational structure, clarify the difference between narrow and broad interpretations of color experience, argue against externalist approaches to color experience, defend the concept of isomorphism as a limitation in understanding color experiences, examine critiques of the color machine and color room arguments, and counter objections to within-subject experiments based on memory limitations
Pautz, Adam (web). Can color structure be explained in terms of color experience? Australasian Journal of Philosophy.   (Google)
Abstract: Hardin argues that Reflectance Physicalism about color fails because it cannot accommodate color structure. David Lewis and others have replied that the Reflectance Physicalist may explain color structure in terms of color experience. I argue that this reply fails
Peacocke, Christopher (1984). Colour concepts and colour experience. Synthese 58 (March):365-82.   (Cited by 41 | Google | More links)
Rey, Georges (2007). Phenomenal content and the richness and determinacy of colour experience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (s 9-10):112-131.   (Google)
Ross, Peter W. (1999). An externalist approach to understanding color experience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (6):968-969.   (Google)
Abstract: Palmer demarcates the bounds of our understanding of color experience by symmetries in the color space. He claims that if there are symmetries, there can be functionally undetectable color transformations. However, even if there are symmetries, Palmer's support for the possibility of undetectable transformations assumes phenomenal internalism. Alternatively, phenomenal externalism eliminates Palmer's limit on our understanding of color experience
Schroer, Robert (2002). Matching sensible qualities: A skeleton in the closet for representationalism. Philosophical Studies 107 (3):259-73.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The intransitivity of matching sensible qualities of color is a threat not only to the sense-data theory, but to all realist theories of sensible qualities, including the current leading realist theory: representationalism. I save representationalism from this threat by way of a novel yet empirically plausible hypothesis about the introspective classification of sensible qualities of color. I argue that due to limitations of the visual system's ability to extract fine-grained information about color from the environment, introspective classification of sensible qualities of color is sensitive to features of context. I finish by arguing for the superiority of my solution over two alternative solutions: one by Nelson Goodman, the other by C.L. Hardin.
Schier, Elizabeth (2007). The represented object of color experience. Philosophical Psychology 20 (1):1 – 27.   (Google)
Abstract: Despite a wealth of data we still have no clear idea what color experiences represent. In fact, color experiences vary with so many factors that it has been claimed that they do not represent anything at all. The primary challenge for any representational account of color experience is to accommodate the various psychophysical results that demonstrate that color appearance depends not only on the spectral nature of the target but also on the spectral, spatial and figural nature of the surround. A number of theorists have proposed that this dependence is an aspect of the visual system's constancy mechanism. However this does not in and of itself tell us what, if anything, is represented in color experience. Ultimately the answer to this question will be informed by one's theory of representational content. I will argue that adopting a molecular scheme of representation enables the development of an account of the represented object of color experience that can do justice to the psychophysical data
Shoemaker, Sydney (2006). On the way things appear. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Shoemaker, Sydney (2007). Thau on perception. Philosophical Studies 132 (3):595-606.   (Google | More links)
Siegel, Susanna (ms). Comments on David Chalmers' "perception and the fall from Eden".   (Google)
Speaks, Jeff (forthcoming). Spectrum inversion without a difference in representation is impossible. Philosophical Studies.   (Google)
Abstract: Even if spectrum inversion of various sorts is possible, spectrum inversion without a difference in representation is not. So spectrum inversion does not pose a challenge for the intentionalist thesis that, necessarily, within a given sense modality, if two experiences are alike with respect to content, they are also alike with respect to their phenomenal character. On the contrary, reflection on variants of standard cases of spectrum inversion provides a strong argument for intentionalism. Depending on one's views about the possibility of various other sorts of spectrum inversion, the impossibility of spectrum inversion without difference in representation can also be used as an argument against a wide variety of reductive theories of mental representation.
Thau, Michael (2007). Response to Shoemaker. Philosophical Studies 132 (3):637-659.   (Google | More links)
Thompson, Brad J. (2006). Color constancy and Russellian representationalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):75-94.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Representationalism, the view that phenomenal character supervenes on intentional content, has attracted a wide following in recent years. Most representationalists have also endorsed what I call 'standard Russellianism'. According to standard Russellianism, phenomenal content is Russellian in nature, and the properties represented by perceptual experiences are mind-independent physical properties. I argue that standard Russellianism conflicts with the everyday experience of colour constancy. Due to colour constancy, standard Russellianism is unable to simultaneously give a proper account of the phenomenal content of colour experience and do justice to its phenomenology
Thompson, Evan (1995). Colour vision, evolution, and perceptual content. Synthese 104 (1):1-32.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Abstract: b>. Computational models of colour vision assume that the biological function of colour vision is to detect surface reflectance. Some philosophers invoke these models as a basis for 'externalism' about perceptual content (content is distal) and 'objectivism' about colour (colour is surface reflectance). In an earlier article (Thompson et al. 1992), I criticized the 'computational objectivist' position on the basis of comparative colour vision: There are fundmental differences among the colour vision of animals and these differences do not converge on the detection of any single type of environmental property. David R. Hilbert (1992) has recently defended computational objectivism against my 'comparative argument;' his arguments are based on the externalist approach to perceptual content originally developed by Mohan Matthen (1988) and on the computationally inspired theory of the evolutionary basis for trichromacy developed by Roger N. Shepard (1990). The present article provides a reply to Hilbert with extensive criticism of both Matthen's and Shepard's theories. I argue that the biological function of colour vision is not to detect surface reflectance, but to provide a set of perceptual categories that can apply to objects in a stable way in a variety of conditions. Comparative research indicates that both the perceptual categories and the distal stimuli will differ according to the animal and its visual ecology; therefore externalism and objectivism must be rejected
Westphal, Jonathan (1987). Colour: Some Philosophical Problems From Wittgenstein. Blackwell.   (Google)
White, Stephen L. (1994). Color and notional content. Philosophical Topics 22:471-503.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Wright, Wayne (2003). Projectivist representationalism and color. Philosophical Psychology 16 (4):515-529.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper proposes a subjectivist approach to color within the framework of an externalist form of representationalism about phenomenal consciousness. Motivations are presented for accepting both representationalism and color subjectivism, and an argument is offered against the case made by Michael Tye on behalf of the claim that colors are objective, physical properties of objects. In the face of the considerable difficulties associated with finding a workable realist theory of color, the alternative account of color experience set out, projectivist representationalism, claims that the color properties we encounter in experience exist only in the representational contents of our experiences. Color experiences are caused by the physical structure of objects, but objects are never actually colored and color experiences systematically misrepresent objects as colored. However, despite being an error theory of color, projectivist representationalism does not do violence to our everyday use and understanding of color concepts and terms, nor does it undermine the role of color experience in aiding the perceiving subject in navigating through the world

3.11c Spatial Experience

Albertazzi, Liliana (ed.) (2002). Unfolding Perceptual Continua. Amsterdam: J Benjamins.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The book analyses the differences between the mathematical interpretation and the phenomenological intuition of the continuum.
Battro, Antonio M. (1977). Visual riemannian space versus cognitive euclidean space. Synthese 35 (4).   (Google)
Brewer, Bill (1993). The integration of spatial vision and action. In Spatial Representation. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Cited by 15 | Google)
Brewer, Bill (1992). Unilateral neglect and the objectivity of spatial representation. Mind and Language 7 (3):222-39.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: Patients may show a more-or-less complete deviation of the head and eyes towards the right (ipsilesional) side [that is, to the same side of egocentric space as the brain lesion responsible for their disorder]. If addressed by the examiner from the left (contralesional) side [the opposite side to their lesion], patients with severe extrapersonal neglect may fail to respond or may look for the speaker in the right side of the room, turning head and eyes more and more to the right. Frequently these patients will not pick up food from the left half of the plate. Given a crossword puzzle, they may complete only the squares to the right. If walking is not prevented by hemiparesis, neglect patients may lose their bearings, since they do not make use of left sided cues
Briscoe, Robert (forthcoming). Perceiving the Present: Systematization of Illusions or Illusion of Systematization? Cognitive Science.   (Google)
Briscoe, Robert (2008). Vision, action, and make-perceive. Mind and Language 23 (4):457-497.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper, I critically assess the enactive account of visual perception recently defended by Alva Noë (2004). I argue inter alia that the enactive account falsely identifies an object’s apparent shape with its 2D perspectival shape; that it mistakenly assimilates visual shape perception and volumetric object recognition; and that it seriously misrepresents the constitutive role of bodily action in visual awareness. I argue further that noticing an object’s perspectival shape involves a hybrid experience combining both perceptual and imaginative elements – an act of what I call ‘make-perceive.’
Browning, Lorin (1973). On seeing 'everything' upside down. Analysis 34 (December):48-49.   (Google)
Bryant, David J. (1997). Representing space in language and perception. Mind and Language 12 (3-4):239-264.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Campbell, John (1996). Shape properties, experience of shape and shape concepts. Philosophical Issues 7:351-363.   (Google | More links)
Campbell, John (2006). What is the role of location in the sense of a visual demonstrative? Reply to Matthen. Philosophical Studies 127 (2):239-254.   (Google | More links)
Campbell, John (2007). What's the role of spatial awareness in visual perception of objects? Mind and Language 22 (5):548–562.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I set out two theses. The first is Lynn Robertson’s: (a) spatial awareness is a cause of object perception. A natural counterpoint is: (b) spatial awareness is a cause of your ability to make accurate verbal reports about a perceived object. Zenon Pylyshyn has criticized both. I argue that nonetheless, the burden of the evidence supports both (a) and (b). Finally, I argue conscious visual perception of an object has a different causal role to both: (i) non-conscious perception of the object, and (ii) experience, e.g. hallucination, that may be subjectively indiscriminable from, but is not, perception of the object
Casullo, Albert (1989). Perceptual space is monadic. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (September):131-134.   (Google | More links)
Cassam, Quassim (2005). Space and objective experience. In José Luis Bermúdez (ed.), Thought, Reference, and Experience: Themes From the Philosophy of Gareth Evans. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Casullo, Albert (1986). The spatial structure of perceptual space. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 46 (June):665-671.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Clark, Austen (online). Location, location, location.   (Google)
Abstract: Forthcoming in Lana Trick & Don Dedrick (eds.), Cognition, Computation, and Pylyshyn. MIT Press. Presented at the Zenon Pylyshyn Conference (ZenCon), University of Guelph, 1 May 2005
Cutting, James E. (2003). Reconceiving perceptual space. In Heiko Hecht, Robert Schwartz & Margaret Atherton (eds.), Looking Into Pictures. The Mit Press.   (Google)
Drummond, John J. (1983). Objects' optimal appearances and the immediate awareness of space in vision. Man and World 16:177-206.   (Google)
Drummond, John J. (1979). On seeing a material thing in space: The role of kinaesthesis in visual perception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 40 (September):19-32.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Eilan, Naomi M. (ed.) (1993). Spatial Representation. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Cited by 36 | Google)
Falkenstein, Lorne (1989). Is perceptual space monadic? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (June):709-713.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Ford, E. (1893). The original datum of space-consciousness. Mind 2 (6):217-218.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
French, Robert E. (1987). The Geometry Of Vision And The Mind Body Problem. Lang.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
French, Robert (1987). The geometry of visual space. Noûs 21 (June):115-133.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Grush, Rick (1998). Skill and spatial content. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (6).   (Cited by 15 | Google)
Abstract: [1] It is well-known that Evans laid the groundwork for a truly radical and fruitful theory of _content_ -- a theory according to which content is a genus with at least conceptual and nonconceptual varieties as species, and in which nonconceptual content plays a very significant role. It is less well-recognized that Evans was also in the process of working out the details of a truly radical and groundbreaking theory of _representation_, a task he was unfortunately unable to bring to any satisfactory stage of fruition. I am here drawing the distinction between a theory of
Grush, Rick (2000). Self, world and space: The meaning and mechanisms of ego- and allocentric spatial representation. Brain and Mind 1 (1):59-92.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Abstract: b>: The problem of how physical systems, such as brains, come to represent themselves as subjects in an objective world is addressed. I develop an account of the requirements for this ability that draws on and refines work in a philosophical tradition that runs from Kant through Peter Strawson to Gareth Evans. The basic idea is that the ability to represent oneself as a subject in a world whose existence is independent of oneself involves the ability to represent space, and in particular, to represent oneself as one object among others in an objective spatial realm. In parallel, I provide an account of how this ability, and the mechanisms that support it, are realized neurobiologically. This aspect of the article draws on, and refines, work done in the neurobiology and psychology of egocentric and allocentric spatial representation
Harrison, Jonathan (1961). The third dimension. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 61:151-168.   (Google)
Hatfield, Gary C. (2009). Perception and Cognition: Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Representation and content in some (actual) theories of perception -- Representation in perception and cognition : task analysis, psychological functions, and rule instantiation -- Perception as unconscious inference -- Representation and constraints : the inverse problem and the structure of visual space -- On perceptual constancy -- Getting objects for free (or not) : the philosophy and psychology of object perception -- Color perception and neural encoding : does metameric matching entail a loss of information? -- Objectivity and subjectivity revisited : color as a psychobiological property -- Sense data and the mind body problem -- The reality of qualia -- The sensory core and the medieval foundations of early modern perceptual theory -- Postscript (2008) on Ibn al-Haytham's (Alhacen's) theory of vision -- Attention in early scientific psychology -- Psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science : reflections on the history and philosophy of experimental psychology -- What can the mind tell us about the brain? : psychology, neurophysiology, and constraint -- Introspective evidence in psychology.
Hatfield, Gary (2003). Representation and constraints: The inverse problem and the structure of visual space. Acta Psychologica 114:355-378.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Visual space can be distinguished from physical space. The ?rst is found in visual experi- ence, while the second is de?ned independently of perception. Theorists have wondered about the relation between the two. Some investigators have concluded that visual space is non- Euclidean, and that it does not have a single metric structure. Here it is argued (1) that visual space exhibits contraction in all three dimensions with increasing distance from the observer, (2) that experienced features of this contraction (including the apparent convergence of lines in visual experience that are produced from physically parallel stimuli in ordinary viewing con- ditions) are not the same as would be the experience of a perspective projection onto a fronto- parallel plane, and (3) that such contraction is consistent with size constancy. These properties of visual space are di?erent from those that would be predicted if spatial perception resulted from the successful solution of the inverse problem. They are consistent with the notion that optical constraints have been internalized. More generally, they are also consistent with the notion that visual spatial structures bear a resemblance relation to physical spatial structures. This notion supports a type of representational relation that is distinct from mere causal cor- respondence. The reticence of some philosophers and psychologists to discuss the structure of phenomenal space is diagnosed in terms of the simple materialism and the functionalism of the 1970s and 1980s.
Hatfield, Gary (1991). The Natural and the Normative: Theories of Spatial Perception From Kant to Helmholtz. Cambridge: MIT Press.   (Cited by 50 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Gary Hatfield examines theories of spatial perception from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century and provides a detailed analysis of the works of Kant and...
Haymond, William S. (1961). Is distance an original factor in vision? Modern Schoolman 39 (November):39-60.   (Google)
Heelan, Patrick A. (1983). Space-Perception And The Philosophy Of Science. University Of California Press.   (Cited by 91 | Google | More links)
Hellie, Benj (ms). Visual form, attention, and binocularity.   (Google)
Abstract: This somewhat odd paper argues against a representational view of visual experience using an intricate "inversion" type thought experiment involving double vision: two subjects could represent external space in the same way while differing phenomenally due to different "spread" in their double images. The spatial structure of the visual field is explained not by representation of external space but functionally, in terms of the possible locations of an attentional spotlight. I'm fond of the ideas in this paper but doubt I'll be returning to it soon.
Hunter, J. F. M. (1987). Seeing dimensionally. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (September):553-566.   (Google)
James, William (1893). The original datum of space-consciousness. Mind 2 (7):363-365.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
James, William (1887). The perception of space. (I.). Mind 12 (45):1-30.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
James, William (1887). The perception of space (III.). Mind 12 (47):321-353.   (Google | More links)
James, William (1887). The perception of space (II.). Mind 12 (46):183-211.   (Google | More links)
Jastrow, Joseph (1886). The perception of space by disparate senses. Mind 11 (44):539-554.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Kemp, G. Neville (1991). Metaphor and aspect-perception. Analysis (March) 84 (March):84-90.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Kline, A. David (1980). Berkeley, Pitcher, and distance perception. International Studies in Philosophy 12:1-8.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Lawrence, Nathaniel M. (1953). Single location, simple location and misplaced concreteness. Review of Metaphysics 7 (December):225-247.   (Google)
Lee, G. (2006). The experience of left and right. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Lewis, H. D. (1953). Private and public space. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 53:79-94.   (Google)
Lowe, E. J. (1986). The topology of visual appearance. Erkenntnis 25 (November):271-274.   (Google | More links)
Macpherson, Fiona (2006). Ambiguous figures and the content of experience. Noûs 40 (1):82-117.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Representationalism is the position that the phenomenal character of an experience is either identical with, or supervenes on, the content of that experience. Many representationalists hold that the relevant content of experience is nonconceptual. I propose a counter-example to this form of representationalism that arises from the phenomenon of Gestalt switching, which occurs when viewing ambiguous figures. First, I argue that one does not need to appeal to the conceptual content of experience or to judge- ments to account for Gestalt switching. I then argue that experiences of certain ambiguous figures are problematic because they have different phenomenal characters but that no difference in the nonconceptual content of these experiences can be identified. I consider three solutions to this problem that have been proposed by both philosophers and psychologists and conclude that none can account for all the ambiguous figures that pose the problem. I conclude that the onus is on representationalists to specify the relevant difference in content or to abandon their position
Mandik, Pete (2005). Phenomenal consciousness and the allocentric-egocentric interface. Endophysics.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I propose and defend the Allocentric-Egocentric Interface Theory of Con- sciousness. Mental processes form a hierarchy of mental representations with maxi- mally egocentric (self-centered) representations at the bottom and maximally allocentric (other-centered) representations at the top. Phenomenally conscious states are states that are relatively intermediate in this hierarchy. More speci
Mandik, Pete (1999). Qualia, space, and control. Philosophical Psychology 12 (1):47-60.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: According to representionalists, qualia-the introspectible properties of sensory experience-are exhausted by the representational contents of experience. Representationalists typically advocate an informational psychosemantics whereby a brain state represents one of its causal antecedents in evolutionarily determined optimal circumstances. I argue that such a psychosemantics may not apply to certain aspects of our experience, namely, our experience of space in vision, hearing, and touch. I offer that these cases can be handled by supplementing informational psychosemantics with a procedural psychosemantics whereby a representation is about its effects instead of its causes. I discuss conceptual and empirical points that favor a procedural representationalism for our experience of space
Mattens, Filip (2009). Perception, body, and the sense of touch: Phenomenology and philosophy of mind. Husserl Studies 25 (2).   (Google)
Abstract: In recent philosophy of mind, a series of challenging ideas have appeared about the relation between the body and the sense of touch. In certain respects, these ideas have a striking affinity with Husserl’s theory of the constitution of the body. Nevertheless, these two approaches lead to very different understandings of the role of the body in perception. Either the body is characterized as a perceptual “organ,” or the body is said to function as a “template.” Despite its focus on the sense of touch, the latter conception, I will argue, nevertheless orients its understanding of tactual perception toward visual objects. This produces a distorted conception of touch. In this paper, I will formulate an alternative account, which is more faithful to what it is like to feel
Morris, David (2004). The Sense of Space. State University of New York Press.   (Google)
Abstract: The Sense of Space brings together space and body to show that space is a plastic environment, charged with meaning, that reflects the distinctive character of human embodiment in the full range of its moving, perceptual, emotional, expressive, developmental, and social capacities. Drawing on the philosophies of Merleau-Ponty and Bergson, as well as contemporary psychology to develop a renewed account of the moving, perceiving body, the book suggests that our sense of space ultimately reflects our ethical relations to other people and to the places we inhabit
Munsterberg, Hugo (1904). Perception of distance. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 1 (23):617-623.   (Google | More links)
O'Callaghan, Casey (2010). Perceiving the locations of sounds. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: Frequently, we learn of the locations of things and events in our environment by means of hearing. Hearing, I argue, is a locational mode of perceiving with a robustly spatial nature. I defend three proposals. First, audition furnishes information about the locations of things and events in one's environment because auditory experience itself is spatial. Audition represents space. Second, we hear the locations of things and events by or in hearing locational information about their sounds. Third, we auditorily experience sounds themselves as having relatively stable distal locations. I reject skepticism about spatial audition tracing to Strawson's Individuals, and suggest that spatial audition supports the view that audition and vision share a dimension of perceptual content
O'Callaghan, Casey (ms). The locations of sounds.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: When you hear the sound of a car drive by on the street outside your window, you learn not only whether the car has a hole in its muffler or has squealing brakes. You also learn something about the location of the car because hearing furnishes information about the locations of its objects. By listening, you learn not only about the character of the things and happenings around you, but also about where they are in the surrounding environment. The question I wish to address is this: Do we hear the locations of sounds themselves, or do we merely hear the locations of sound sources—the objects and events that produce sounds? I shall argue that frequently we do hear the locations of sounds themselves, and that this is required in order to hear and learn the locations of sound-producing sources. This feature of auditory experience has consequences for the metaphysics of sounds. If we veridically hear the locations of sounds, then the most prominent conception of sounds is mistaken and we must revise our ontology
O'Keefe, John (1993). Kant and the sea-horse: An essay in the neurophilosophy of space. In Spatial Representation. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Google)
Peacocke, Christopher (1992). Scenarios, concepts, and perception. In Tim Crane (ed.), The Contents of Experience. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 42 | Google)
Pitkin, Walter B. (1909). Some neglected paradoxes of visual space. I. Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods 6 (22):601-608.   (Google | More links)
Politz, Alfred (1979). On the origin of space perception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 40 (December):258-264.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Randle, H. N. (1922). Sense-data and sensible appearances in size-distance perception. Mind 31 (123):284-306.   (Google | More links)
Roberts, Fred S. & Suppes, Patrick (1967). Some problems in the geometry of visual perception. Synthese 17 (June):173-201.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Sanford, David H. (1983). The perception of shape. In Knowledge And Mind: Phil Essays. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Schellenberg, Susanna (2007). Action and self-location in perception. Mind 115 (463):603-632.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I offer an explanation of how subjects are able to perceive the intrinsic spatial properties of objects, given that subjects always perceive from a particular location. The argument proceeds in two steps. First, I argue that a conception of space is necessary to perceive the intrinsic spatial properties of objects. This conception of space is spelled out by showing that perceiving intrinsic properties requires perceiving objects as the kind of things that are perceivable from other locations. Second, I show that having such a conception of space presupposes that a subject represent her location in relation to perceived objects. More precisely the thesis is that a subject represents her location as the location from which she both perceives objects and would act in relation to objects were she to act. So I argue that perception depends on the capacity to know what it would be to act in relation to objects
Schellenberg, Susanna (forthcoming). Perceptual Experience and the Capacity to Act. In N. Gangopadhay, M. Madary & F. Spicer (eds.), Perception, Action, and Consciousness. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Shoemaker, Sydney (2003). Content, character, and color. Philosophical Issues 13 (1):253-78.   (Cited by 14 | Google | More links)
Smith, A. D. (2000). Space and sight. Mind 109 (435):481-518.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper, which has both a historical and a polemical aspect, investigates the view, dominant throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, that the sense of sight is, originally, not phenomenally three-dimensional in character, and that we must come to interpret its properly two-dimensional data by reference to the sense of 'touch'. The principal argument for this claim, due to Berkeley, is examined and found wanting. The supposedly confirming findings concerning 'Molyneux subjects' are also investigated and are shown to be either irrelevant or disconfirming. Recent investigations on infant and neonatal perception are discussed and are also found to be disconfirming. An innatist version of the theory is then considered and is shown to be undermined by the largely 'Gibsonian' character of early space-perception. Finally three recent arguments in favour of the theory - two from psychologists, one from a philosopher - are considered and answered
Smith, Leslie (1981). Space perception and parallax. Philosophy 56 (April):248-252.   (Google)
Smuts, Aaron (2003). Haunting the house from within: Disbelief, mitigation, and spatial experience. In Steven Jay Schneider & Daniel Shaw (eds.), Dark Thoughts: Philosophic Reflections on Cinematic Horror. Scarecrow Press.   (Google)
Abstract: In this chapter I attempt to explain the lasting effectiveness and critical success of Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) by roughly sketching the role that spectator belief might play in a revised version of the so-called “Thought Theory” of emotional response to fiction. I argue that The Haunting engages viewers in a process of “disbelief mitigation”—the sheltering of nontrivial, tenuously held beliefs required for optimal viewer response—that helps make the film work as horror, and prevents it from sliding into comedy. Haunted house films do not have to extend much effort to keep us from walking away, since most viewers come to the theater ready to entertain the idea that haunted houses exist. Using the experiential philosophy of John Dewey, I propose that this willingness has to do with a fundamental aspect of our relationship with space. It is common to speak of places as “charged” or “tense,” to get feelings of dread or nostalgia from certain spots. Some haunted house films leverage this experiential characteristic to fuel the horror, and without it, the subgenre would probably not exist
Spencer, Herbert (1890). Our space-consciousness: A reply. Mind 15 (59):305-324.   (Google | More links)
Stanley Hall, G. (1878). The muscular perception of space. Mind 3 (12):433-450.   (Google | More links)
Strong, C. A. (1926). Discussions: Mr. Randle on sensations and projection. Mind 35 (140).   (Google)
Sully, James (1878). The question of visual perception in germany. Mind 3 (10):167-195.   (Google | More links)
Thompson, Brad J. (2010). The spatial content of experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):146-184.   (Google | More links)
Van Cleve, James (2002). Thomas Reid's geometry of visibles. Philosophical Review 111 (3):373-416.   (Google | More links)
Vision, Gerald (1989). Sight and cognition. Metaphilosophy 20 (January):12-33.   (Google | More links)
Vosgerau, Gottfried (2007). Conceptuality in spatial representations. Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):349 – 365.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The notion of conceptuality is still unclear and vague. I will present a definition of conceptual and nonconceptual representations that is grounded in different aspects of the representations' structures. This definition is then used to interpret empirical results from human and animal navigation. It will be shown, that the distinction between egocentric and allocentric spatial representations can be matched onto the conceptual vs. nonconceptual distinction. The phenomena discussed in spatial navigation are thereby put into a wider context of cognitive abilities, which allows for new explanations of certain features of spatial representations and how they are linked to other capacities, like perception and reasoning
Wagner, Mark S. (2006). The Geometries of Visual Space. Routledge.   (Google)
Wiesenthal, L. (1983). Visual space from the perspective of possible-worlds semantics, I. Synthese 56 (August):199-238.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)

3.11d The Experience of Objects

Bach, Kent (online). Searle against the world: How can experiences find their objects?   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Here's an old question in the philosophy of perception: here I am, looking at this pen [I hold up a pen in my hand]. Presumably I really am seeing this pen. Even so, I could be having an experience just like the one I am having without anything being there. So how can the experience I am having really involve direct awareness of the pen? It seems as though the presence of the pen is inessential to the way the experience is
Battro, Antonio M. (1977). Visual riemannian space versus cognitive euclidean space. Synthese 35 (4).   (Google)
Bernal, Sara (2005). Object lessons: Spelke principles and psychological explanation. Philosophical Psychology 18 (3):289-312.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: There is general agreement that from the first few months of life, our apprehension of physical objects accords, in some sense, with certain principles. In one philosopher's locution, we are 'perceptually sensitive' to physical principles describing the behavior of objects. But in what does this accordance or sensitivity consist? Are these principles explicitly represented or merely 'implemented'? And what sort of explanation do we accomplish in claiming that our object perception accords with these principles? My main goal here is to suggest answers to these questions. I argue that the object principles are not explicitly represented, first addressing some confusion in the debate about what that means. On the positive side, I conclude that the principles supply a competence account, at Marr's computational level, and that they function like natural constraints in vision. These are among their considerable explanatory benefits - benefits endowed by rules and principles in other cognitive domains as well. Characterizing the explanatory role of the object principles is my main project here, but in pursuing certain sub-goals I am led to other conclusions of interest in their own right. I address an argument that the object principles are explicitly represented which assumes that object perception is substantially thought-like. This provokes a jaunt off the main path which leads to interesting territory: the boundary between thought and perception. I argue that object apprehension is much closer to perception than to thought on the spectrum between the two
Brewer, Bill (1994). Thoughts about objects, places and times. In Objectivity, Simulation and the Unity of Consciousness. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Campbell, John (2006). Does visual reference depend on sortal classification? Reply to Clark. Philosophical Studies 127 (2):221-237.   (Google | More links)
Clark, Austen (2004). Feature-placing and proto-objects. Philosophical Psychology 17 (4):443-469.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper contrasts three different schemes of reference relevant to understanding systems of perceptual representation: a location-based system dubbed "feature-placing", a system of "visual indices" referring to things called "proto-objects", and the full sortal-based individuation allowed by a natural language. The first three sections summarize some of the key arguments (in Clark, 2000) to the effect that the early, parallel, and pre-attentive registration of sensory features itself constitutes a simple system of nonconceptual mental representation. In particular, feature integration--perceiving something as being both F and G, where F and G are sensible properties registered in distinct parallel streams--requires a referential apparatus. Section V. reviews some grounds for thinking that at these earliest levels this apparatus is location-based: that it has a direct and nonconceptual means of picking out places. Feature-placing is contrasted with a somewhat more sophisticated system that can identify and track four or five "perceptual objects" or "proto-objects", independently of their location, for as long as they remain perceptible. Such a system is found in Zenon Pylyshyn's fascinating work on "visual indices", in Dana Ballard's notion of deictic codes, and in Kahneman, Treisman, and Wolfe's accounts of systems of evanescent representations they call "object files". Perceptual representation is a layered affair, and I argue that it probably includes both feature-placing and proto-objects. Finally, both nonconceptual systems are contrasted with the full-blooded individuation allowed in a natural language
Cohen, Jonathan (2004). Objects, places, and perception. Philosophical Psychology 17 (4):471-495.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In Clark (2000), Austen Clark argues convincingly that a widespread view of perception as a complicated kind of feature-extraction is incomplete. He argues that perception has another crucial representational ingredient: it must also involve the representation of "sensory individuals" that exemplify sensorily extracted features. Moreover, he contends, the best way of understanding sensory individuals takes them to be places in space surrounding the perceiver. In this paper, I'll agree with Clark's case for sensory individuals (
Duncker, Karl (2003). Phenomenology and epistemology of consciousness of objects. International Gestalt Journal 26 (1):79-128.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Evans, Gareth (1980). Things without the mind. In Philosophical Subjects. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 40 | Google)
Fern, (2006). Particularity and reflexivity in the intentional content of perception. Theoria 21 (56):133-145.   (Google)
Fern, (1999). Perceptual consciousness and the reflexive character of attention. In Jos Falguera (ed.), La Filosof. Santiago de Compostela: S.I.E.U..   (Google)
French, Robert (1987). The geometry of visual space. Noûs 21 (June):115-133.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Hampshire, Stuart N. (1961). Perception and identification, part I. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 81:81-96.   (Google)
Hinton, J. Michael (1967). Perception and identification. Philosophical Review 76 (October):421-435.   (Google | More links)
Honderich, Ted (1994). Seeing things. Synthese 98 (1):51-71.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Knuuttila, Simo & Kärkkäinen, Pekka (eds.) (2008). Theories of Perception in Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. Springer.   (Google)
Kulvicki, John (2007). What is what it's like? Introducing perceptual modes of presentation. Synthese 156 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The central claim of this paper is that what it is like to see green or any other perceptible property is just the perceptual mode of presentation of that property. Perceptual modes of presentation are important because they help resolve a tension in current work on consciousness. Philosophers are pulled by three mutually inconsistent theses: representational externalism, representationalism, and phenomenal internalism. I throw my hat in with defenders of the first two: the externalist representationalists. We are faced with the problem of explaining away intuitions that favor phenomenal internalism. Perceptual modes of presentation account for what it is like to see properties in a way that accommodates those intuitions without vindicating phenomenal internalism itself. Perceptual MoPs therefore provide a new way of being an externalist representationalist
Kung, Guido (1984). The intentional and the real object. Dialectica 38:143-156.   (Google)
Martin, Michael G. F. (2002). Particular thoughts and singular thought. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Logic, Thought, and Language. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Matthen, Mohan (2010). On the diversity of auditory objects. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (1):63-89.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper defends two theses about sensory objects. The more general thesis is that directly sensed objects are those delivered by sub-personal processes. It is shown how this thesis runs counter to perceptual atomism, the view that wholes are always sensed indirectly, through their parts. The more specific thesis is that while the direct objects of audition are all composed of sounds, these direct objects are not all sounds—here, a composite auditory object is a temporal sequence of sounds (whereas a composite visual object is a spatial composite). Many composite objects are directly heard in the sense just mentioned. There is a great variety of such composite auditory objects—melodies, harmonies, sequences of phonemes, individual voices, meaning-carrying sounds, and so on. This diversity of auditory objects has an important application to aesthetics. Perceivers do not naturally or easily attend simultaneously to auditory objects that overlap in time. Yet, aesthetic appreciation depends on such an allocation of attention to overlapping objects
Matthen, Mohan P. (2006). On visual experience of objects: Comments on John Campbell's reference and consciousness. Philosophical Studies 127 (2):195-220.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: John Campbell argues that visual attention to objects is the means by which we can refer to objects, and that this is so because conscious visual attention enables us to retrieve information about a location. It is argued here that while Campbell is right to think that we visually attend to objects, he does not give us sufficient ground for thinking that consciousness is involved, and is wrong to assign an intermediary role to location. Campbell’s view on sortals is also queried, as is his espousal of the so-called Referential View of Experience
Mcculloch, Gregory (1984). Cause in perception: A note on Searle's intentionality. Analysis 44 (October):203-205.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
McDowell, John (1986). Singular thought and the extent of ``inner space''. In John McDowell & Philip Pettit (eds.), Subject, Thought, and Context. Clarendon Press.   (Google)
Millar, Alan (1985). Veridicality: More on Searle. Analysis 45 (March):120-124.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1984). On the causal self-referentiality of perceptual experiences and the problem of concrete perceptual reference. Behaviorism 12:61-80.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1994). On the distinction between the object and the content of consciousness. Journal of Mind and Behavior 15 (3):239-64.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (2002). The experiential presence of objects to perceptual consciousness: Wilfrid Sellars, sense impressions, and perceptual takings. Journal of Mind and Behavior 23 (3):293-316.   (Google)
Natsoulas, Thomas (1997). The presence of environmental objects to perceptual consciousness: An integrative, ecological and phenomenological approach. Journal of Mind and Behavior 18 (4):371-390.   (Google)
Pylyshyn, Zenon W. (2001). Connecting vision with the world: Tracking the missing link. In Joao Branquinho (ed.), The Foundations of Cognitive Science. Oxford: Clarendon Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: You might reasonably surmise from the title of this paper that I will be discussing a theory of vision. After all, what is a theory of vision but a theory of how the world is connected to our visual representations? Theories of visual perception universally attempt to give an account of how a proximal stimulus (presumably a pattern impinging on the retina) can lead to a rich representation of a three dimensional world and thence to either the recognition of known objects or to the coordination of actions with visual information. Such theories typically provide an effective (i.e., computable) mapping from a 2D pattern to a representation of a 3D scene, usually in the form of a symbol structure. But such a mapping, though undoubtedly the essential purpose of a theory of vision, leaves at least one serious problem that I intend to discuss here. It is this problem, rather than a theory of vision itself, that is the subject of this talk
Pylyshyn, Zenon W. (2001). Visual indexes, preconceptual objects, and situated vision. Cognition.   (Cited by 130 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper argues that a theory of situated vision, suited for the dual purposes of object recognition and the control of action, will have to provide something more than a system that constructs a conceptual representation from visual stimuli: it will also need to provide a special kind of direct (preconceptual, unmediated) connection between elements of a visual representation and certain elements in the world. Like natural language demonstratives (such as `this' or `that') this direct connection allows entities to be referred to without being categorized or conceptualized. Several reasons are given for why we need such a preconcep- tual mechanism which individuates and keeps track of several individual objects in the world. One is that early vision must pick out and compute the relation among several individual objects while ignoring their properties. Another is that incrementally computing and updating representations of a dynamic scene requires keeping track of token individuals despite changes in their properties or locations. It is then noted that a mechanism meeting these requirements has already been proposed in order to account for a number of disparate empiri- cal phenomena, including subitizing, search-subset selection and multiple object tracking (Pylyshyn et al., Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology 48(2) (1994) 260). This mechanism, called a visual index or FINST, is brie
Raftopoulos, Athanassios & Müller, Vincent C. (2006). The phenomenal content of experience. Mind and Language 21 (2):187-219.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We discuss in some length evidence from the cognitive science suggesting that the representations of objects based on spatiotemporal information and featural information retrieved bottomup from a visual scene precede representations of objects that include conceptual information. We argue that a distinction can be drawn between representations with conceptual and nonconceptual content. The distinction is based on perceptual mechanisms that retrieve information in conceptually unmediated ways. The representational contents of the states induced by these mechanisms that are available to a type of awareness called phenomenal awareness constitute the phenomenal content of experience. The phenomenal content of perception contains the existence of objects as separate things that persist in time and time, spatiotemporal information, and information regarding relative spatial relations, motion, surface properties, shape, size, orientation, color, and their functional properties
Richardson, Robert C. (1988). Objects and fields. In Perspectives On Mind. Dordrecht: Kluwer.   (Google)
Rorty, Richard (1970). Strawson's objectivity argument. Review of Metaphysics 24 (December):207-244.   (Cited by 12 | Google)
Schellenberg, Susanna (2007). Action and self-location in perception. Mind 115 (463):603-632.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I offer an explanation of how subjects are able to perceive the intrinsic spatial properties of objects, given that subjects always perceive from a particular location. The argument proceeds in two steps. First, I argue that a conception of space is necessary to perceive the intrinsic spatial properties of objects. This conception of space is spelled out by showing that perceiving intrinsic properties requires perceiving objects as the kind of things that are perceivable from other locations. Second, I show that having such a conception of space presupposes that a subject represent her location in relation to perceived objects. More precisely the thesis is that a subject represents her location as the location from which she both perceives objects and would act in relation to objects were she to act. So I argue that perception depends on the capacity to know what it would be to act in relation to objects
Schellenberg, Susanna (forthcoming). Perceptual content defended. Noûs.   (Google)
Abstract: Recently the thesis that experience is fundamentally a matter of representing the world as being a certain way has been questioned by austere relationalists. I defend this thesis by developing a view of perceptual content that avoids the objections of austere relationalists. The main thesis of the paper is that on a relational understanding of perceptual content, the fundamental insights of austere relationalism do not compete with perceptual experience being representational. I argue that most austere relationalist objections to the thesis that experience has content are objections only against accounts of perceptual content on which perceptual relations to the world play no explanatory role. With austere relationalists, I will argue that perceptual experience is fundamentally relational. But against austere relationalists, I will argue that it is fundamentally both relational and representational
Siegel, Susanna (ms). Particularity and presence in visual perception.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: What is the difference between perception and mere sensation? Take a typical perceptual experience, such as an experience of seeing a fish or a table, and a merely sensory experience, such as the experience of
Siegel, Susanna (2002). Review of A Theory of Sentience, by Austen Clark. Philosophical Review 111 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: First, what it is for a sentient being to sense is for it to employ two distinct capacities: one for representing places-at-times; the other for representing "features" (60, cf. 70). Exercised together, the result is akin to feature-placing, which brings us to the second thesis: what sensory systems represent is that features are instantiated at place-times. Accordingly, sensory systems do not, for instance, attribute properties to objects, such as trees, tables, bodies, or persons (163)
Siegel, Susanna (2005). Subject and object in the contents of visual experience. Philosophical Review 115 (3):355--88.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: What is the difference between perception and mere sensation? Take a typical perceptual experience, such as an experience of seeing a fish or a table, and a merely sensory experience, such as the experience of ‘seeing stars’ or of enjoying a red phosphene (a phosphene is a kind of afterimage). One difference between these experiences is that in the first case, there is an external object that one sees. But this difference is not the only difference. On the face of it, typical perceptual experiences and mere sensations also differ in their phenomenal character. How can this difference be understood?
Soteriou, Matthew (2000). The particularity of visual perception. European Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):173-189.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Thomas, Alan (online). Perceptual knowledge, representation and imagination.   (Google)
Abstract: The focus of this paper will be on the problem of perceptual presence and on a solution to this problem pioneered by Kant [1781; 1783] and refined by Sellars [Sellars, 1978] and Strawson [Strawson, 1971]. The problem of perceptual presence is that of explaining how our perceptual experience of the world gives us a robust sense of the presence of objects in perception over and above those sensory aspects of the object given in perception. Objects possess other properties which are, one might say, phenomenologically present even though they are admittedly sensorily absent. The general form of the solution to this problem that Kant developed seems to me to be a neglected resource in contemporary work on perceptual consciousness. Kant solves the problem of perceptual presence by appealing to that which he called the productive use of the imagination. This faculty of mind supplies schematic representations of the object of perception that explains a phenomenological sense of perceptual presence even of those features that are not, in a sense to be further clarified,
Tye, Michael (2007). Intentionalism and the argument from no common content. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):589–613.   (Google)
Tye, Michael (2009). The admissible contents of visual experience. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):541-562.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: My purpose is to take a close look at the nature of visual content. I discuss the view that visual experiences have only existential contents, the view that visual experiences have either singular or gappy contents, and the view that visual experiences have multiple contents. I also consider a proposal about visual content inspired by Kaplan's well known theory of indexicals. I draw out some consequences of my discussion for the thesis of intentionalism with respect to the phenomenal character of visual experience
Welker, David D. (1988). On the necessity of bodies. Erkenntnis 28 (May):363-385.   (Google | More links)

3.11e The Experience of High-Level Properties

Appelbaum, Irene (1998). Fodor, modularity, and speech perception. Philosophical Psychology 11 (3):317-330.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Abstract: Fodor argues that speech perception is accomplished by a module. Typically, modular processing is taken to be bottom-up processing. Yet there is ubiquitous empirical evidence that speech perception is influenced by top-down processing. Fodor attempts to resolve this conflict by denying that modular processing must be exclusively bottom-up. It is argued, however, that Fodor's attempt to reconcile top-down and modular processing fails, because: (i) it undermines Fodor's own conception of modular processing; and (ii) it cannot account for the contextually varying top-down influences that characterize speech perception
Basile, Pierfrancesco (2007). Whitehead, Hume and the phenomenology of causation. In Subjectivity, Process, and Rationality (Process Thought, Volume 14). Heusenstamm Bei Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.   (Google)
Bayne, Tim (2009). Perception and the reach of phenomenal content. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):385-404.   (Google)
Abstract: The phenomenal character of perceptual experience involves the representation of colour, shape and motion. Does it also involve the representation of high-level categories? Is the recognition of a tomato as a tomato contained within perceptual phenomenality? Proponents of a conservative view of the reach of phenomenal content say 'No', whereas those who take a liberal view of perceptual phenomenality say 'Yes'. I clarify the debate between conservatives and liberals, and argue in favour of the liberal view that high-level content can directly inform the phenomenal character of perception
Bayne, Tim, Perceptual experience and the reach of phenomenal content.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The phenomenal character of perceptual experience involves the representation of colour, spatial and temporal properties, but does it also involve the representation of high-level categories? Is the recognition of an object as a tomato encoded in the phenomenology of perception? Proponents of a conservative view of the reach of phenomenal content say “no”, whereas those who take a liberal view of perceptual phenomenology say “yes”. This paper clarifies the debate between conservatives and liberals, and provides a case in favour of the liberal position: high-level content can inform perceptual phenomenology
Bayne, Tim (forthcoming). The phenomenology of agency. Philosophy Compass.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The phenomenology of agency has, until recently, been rather neglected, overlooked by both philosophers of action and philosophers of consciousness alike. Thankfully, all that has changed, and of late there has been an explosion of interest in what it is like to be an agent. 1 This burgeoning field crosses the traditional boundaries between disciplines: philosophers of psychopathology are speculating about the role that unusual experiences of agency might play in accounting for disorders of thought and action; cognitive scientists are developing models of how the phenomenology of agency is generated; and philosophers of mind are drawing connections between the phenomenology of agency and the nature of introspection, phenomenal character, and agency itself. My aim in this paper is not to provide an exhaustive survey of this recent literature, but to provide a..
Bayne, Tim, The sense of agency.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Where in cognitive architecture do experiences of agency lie? This chapter defends the claim that such states qualify as a species of perception. Reference to ‘the sense of agency’ should not be taken as a mere façon de parler but picks out a genuinely perceptual system. The chapter begins by outlining the perceptual model of agentive experience before turning to its two main rivals: the doxastic model, according to which agentive experience is really a species of belief, and the telic model, according to which agentive experience is really a species of agency. I conclude by defending the perceptual model against a number of objections to it, and by briefly exploring its implications for the question of how to approach the study of perception
Beebee, Helen (2003). Seeing causing. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):257-280.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Singularists about causation often claim that we can have experiences as of causation. This paper argues that regularity theorists need not deny that claim; hence the possibility of causal experience is no objection to regularity theories of causation. The fact that, according to a regularity theorist, causal experience requires background theory does not provide grounds for denying that it is genuine experience. The regularity theorist need not even deny that non-inferential perceptual knowledge of causation is possible, despite the fact that such knowledge would sometimes allow us to make inferences about what happens in far-off places and times.
Budd, Malcolm (1987). Wittgenstein on seeing aspects. Mind 96 (January):1-17.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Butterfill, S. (2009). Seeing causings and hearing gestures. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):405-428.   (Google)
Abstract: Can humans see causal interactions? Evidence on the visual perception of causal interactions, from Michotte to contemporary work, is best interpreted as showing that we can see some causal interactions in the same sense as that in which we can hear speech. Causal perception, like speech perception, is a form of categorical perception
Byrne, Alex (2009). Experience and content. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):429-451.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The 'content view', in slogan form, is 'Perceptual experiences have representational content'. I explain why the content view should be reformulated to remove any reference to 'experiences'. I then argue, against Bill Brewer, Charles Travis and others, that the content view is true. One corollary of the discussion is that the content of perception is relatively thin (confined, in the visual case, to roughly the output of 'mid-level' vision). Finally, I argue (briefly) that the opponents of the content view are partially vindicated, because perceptual error is due to false belief
Lyons, Jack (2007). Clades, Capgras and Perceptual Kinds. Philosophical Topics 33:185-206.   (Google)
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Clark, Austen (2000). A Theory of Sentience. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 107 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Austen Clark offers a general account of the forms of mental representation that we call "sensory." Drawing on the findings of current neuroscience, Clark defends the hypothesis that the various modalities of sensation share a generic form that he calls "feature-placing." Sensing proceeds by picking out place-times in or around the body of the sentient organism, and characterizing qualities (features) that appear at those place-times. The hypothesis casts light on many other troublesome phenomena, including the varieties of illusion, the problem of projection, the notion of a visual field, and the existence of sense-data
Cullison, Andrew (2010). Moral perception. European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):159-175.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Abstract : In this paper, I defend the view that we can have perceptual moral knowledge. First, I motivate the moral perception view by drawing on some examples involving perceptual knowledge of complex non-moral properties. I argue that we have little reason to think that perception of moral properties couldn't operate in much the same way that our perception of these complex non-moral properties operates. I then defend the moral perception view from two challenging objections that have yet to be adequately addressed. The first objection is that the moral perception view has implausible commitments concerning the morally blind , people who would claim not to perceive wrongness. The second objection is that the moral perception view is not really compatible with a wide range of the main candidate moral theories. I argue that the moral empiricist has plausible responses to both of these objections. I then address three residual concerns that my defense raises
Dorsch, Fabian, Higher-level perception: Sibley's case for aesthetic perception (draft).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: One important issue in the philosophy of perception is the question of which features of objects are perceivable.1 Perhaps the only fairly uncontroversial claim in this debate is that we can perceive the traditional examples of what have been called ‘secondary qualities’ — such as colours, smells, or tastes.2 But even among those who accept that we are also able to perceive certain basic ‘primary qualities’ — notably shapes, distances, sizes, weights, and so on — there is disagreement about whether our access to more higher-level properties can likewise be perceptual. Thus, it is debated, for instance, whether we can see the sadness or intelligence of a friend, the kindness of an action, the elegance of a gait, the climbability of a wall, the fragility of a glass, the quality of a proof or of a move in chess, the content of a painting, or even simpler properties like being a bottle or being a cat. Some of our recognitions of such higher-level features have three things in common. First, they are immediate in the sense of being phenomenologically (or psychologically) immediate. We need not engage in a conscious inference or another form of reasoning in order to notice that someone is sad or that a certain chess move is bad. Second, our awareness of the higher-level features involves or is grounded in the — typically perceptual — recognition of relevant lower-level features which contribute to the realisation3 of the higher-level features in question. We notice that a friend is sad partly on the basis of perceiving the tone of his voice or the shape of his gestures. And we notice that a chess move is bad partly in response to perceiving the specific situation on the board. Third, we have an intelligible and reasonable practice of backing up our ascriptions of the higher-level features by highlighting the respective lower-level properties. When someone challenges our judgement that our friend is sad, or the move bad, we support our assessments by referring to the lower-level features just mentioned..
Döring, Sabine A. (forthcoming). Seeing what to do: Affective perception and rational motivation. Dialectica.   (Google | More links)
Ducasse, Curt J. (1965). Causation: Perceivable? Or only inferred? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 26 (December):173-179.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Ducasse, Curt J. (1967). How literally causation is perceivable. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 28 (December):271-273.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Ducasse, Curt J. (1926). On the nature and the observability of the causal relation. Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):57-68.   (Cited by 27 | Google | More links)
Fleming, Noel (1957). Recognizing and seeing as. Philosophical Review 66 (2):161-179.   (Google | More links)
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Goldie, Peter (forthcoming). Seeing what is the kind thing to do: Perception and emotion in morality. Dialectica.   (Google | More links)
Gregory, Richard (1970). The Intelligent Eye. Mcgraw-Hill.   (Google)
Hofmann, Frank (ms). Perception: Perspectival content and perceptual achievement.   (Google)
Abstract: According to a classical causal account of perception, to perceive that object x is F is to fulfill the following conditions: (i) one has an experience as of x's being F, (ii) x is F, and (iii) one's experience of x's being F depends causally on x's being F. This is the core of Grice's causal theory of perception, and it is initially quite plausible (Grice 1961)
Hooker, Cliff A. (1973). Empiricism, perception and conceptual change. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 3 (September):59-74.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Hunter, J. F. M. (1981). Wittgenstein on seeing and seeing as. Philosophical Investigations 4:33-49.   (Google)
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Jonas, Hans (1950). Causality and perception. Journal of Philosophy 47 (May):319-323.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Locke, Don (1967). Perception And Our Knowledge Of The External World. Ny: Humanities Press.   (Cited by 11 | Google)
Abstract: Reissue from the classic Muirhead Library of Philosophy series (originally published between 1890s - 1970s).
Luccio, Riccardo & Milloni, Donata (2004). Perception of causality: A dynamical analysis. In Alberto Peruzzi (ed.), Mind and Causality. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.   (Google)
Lyons, Jack C. (2005). Clades, capgras, and perceptual kinds. Philosophical Topics 33 (1):185-206.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Perceptual states represent the world as being certain ways, as having certain properties. Which ways and properties are these? When I hold out my hand and look at it, it seems that I have a visual experience of a hand. One traditional view has held that my perceptual state is not of a hand but merely of an array of color patches, or the like, which disposes me to believe that there
Macpherson, Fiona (2006). Ambiguous figures and the content of experience. Noûs 40 (1):82-117.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Representationalism is the position that the phenomenal character of an experience is either identical with, or supervenes on, the content of that experience. Many representationalists hold that the relevant content of experience is nonconceptual. I propose a counter-example to this form of representationalism that arises from the phenomenon of Gestalt switching, which occurs when viewing ambiguous figures. First, I argue that one does not need to appeal to the conceptual content of experience or to judge- ments to account for Gestalt switching. I then argue that experiences of certain ambiguous figures are problematic because they have different phenomenal characters but that no difference in the nonconceptual content of these experiences can be identified. I consider three solutions to this problem that have been proposed by both philosophers and psychologists and conclude that none can account for all the ambiguous figures that pose the problem. I conclude that the onus is on representationalists to specify the relevant difference in content or to abandon their position
Malone, Michael E. (1978). Is scientific observation seeing as? Philosophical Investigations 1:23-38.   (Google)
McBrayer, Justin P. (2010). A limited defense of moral perception. Philosophical Studies 149 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: One popular reason for rejecting moral realism is the lack of a plausible epistemology that explains how we come to know moral facts. Recently, a number of philosophers have insisted that it is possible to have moral knowledge in a very straightforward way—by perception. However, there is a significant objection to the possibility of moral perception: it does not seem that we could have a perceptual experience that represents a moral property, but a necessary condition for coming to know that X is F by perception is the ability to have a perceptual experience that represents something as being F . Call this the ‘Representation Objection’ to moral perception. In this paper I argue that the Representation Objection to moral perception fails. Thus I offer a limited defense of moral perception
McNeill, William E. S. (forthcoming). On Seeing That Someone is Angry. European Journal of Philosophy.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Some propose that the question of how you know that James is angry can be adequately answered with the claim that you see that James is angry. Call this the Perceptual Hypothesis. Here, I examine that hypothesis.

I argue that there are two different ways in which the Perceptual Hypothesis could be made true. You might see that James is angry by seeing his bodily features. Alternatively, you might see that James is angry by seeing his anger. If you see that James is angry in the first way, your knowledge is inferential. If you see that James is angry in the second way, your knowledge is not inferential. These are different ways of knowing that James is angry. So the Perceptual Hypothesis alone does not adequately answer the question of how you know that fact. To ascertain how you know it, we need to decide whether or not you saw his anger.

This is an epistemological argument. But it has consequences for a theory of perception. It implies that there is a determinate fact about which features of an object you see. This fact is made true independently of what you come to know by seeing.

In the final section of the paper, I seek to undermine various ways in which the claim that you see James’ anger may be thought implausible.
Millar, Alan (2008). Perceptual-recognitional abilities and perceptual knowledge. In Adrian Haddock & Fiona Macpherson (eds.), Disjunctivism: Perception, Action, Knowledge. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
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Mulhall, Stephen (1993). Consciousness, cognition and the Phenomenal--II. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 67 (67):75-89.   (Google)
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Abstract: I develop a seeming antinomy in relation to the question, Do natural kind properties, strictly speaking, characterize the phenomenology of experience? Or, in Peacockean terms, Are natural kind concepts observational? On the one hand, na
Price, Richard (2009). Aspect-switching and visual phenomenal character. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):508-518.   (Google)
Abstract: John Searle and Susanna Siegel have argued that cases of aspect-switching show that visual experience represents a richer range of properties than colours, shapes, positions and sizes. I respond that cases of aspect-switching can be explained without holding that visual experience represents rich properties. I also argue that even if Searle and Siegel are right, and aspect-switching does require visual experience to represent rich properties, there is reason to think those properties do not include natural-kind properties, such as being a tomato
Prinz, Jesse J. (2006). Beyond appearances: The content of sensation and perception. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: There seems to be a large gulf between percepts and concepts. In particular, con- cepts seem to be capable of representing things that percepts cannot. We can conceive of things that would be impossible to perceive. (The converse may also seem true, but I will leave that to one side.) In one respect, this is trivially right. We can conceive of things that we cannot encounter, such as unicorns. We cannot literally perceive unicorns, even if we occasionally
Price, Richard (2005). Content ascriptions and the reversibility constraint. Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):353–374.   (Google | More links)
Ranken, Nani L. (1967). A note on Ducasse's perceivable causation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 28 (December):269-270.   (Google | More links)
Siegel, Susanna (ms). Misperception.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In discussions of perception and its provision of knowledge, it is common to distinguish what one comes to believe on the basis of perception from the distinctively perceptual basis of one's belief. The distinction can be drawn in terms of propositional contents: there are the contents that a perceiver would normally come to believe on the basis of her perception, on the one hand; and there are the contents properly attributed to perception itself, on the other. Consider the content
Siegel, Susanna (2005). Subject and object in the contents of visual experience. Philosophical Review 115 (3):355--88.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: What is the difference between perception and mere sensation? Take a typical perceptual experience, such as an experience of seeing a fish or a table, and a merely sensory experience, such as the experience of ‘seeing stars’ or of enjoying a red phosphene (a phosphene is a kind of afterimage). One difference between these experiences is that in the first case, there is an external object that one sees. But this difference is not the only difference. On the face of it, typical perceptual experiences and mere sensations also differ in their phenomenal character. How can this difference be understood?
Siegel, Susanna (2009). The visual experience of causation. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):519-540.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: How is causation represented in the mind? We often believe that one event has caused another. But can we visually experience two things as causally related? If so, then experiences represent causation. A different question in the vicinity is whether we can ever see that something is causing (or has just caused) something else to happen. In the relevant sense of ‘seeing’ here, seeing is factive – you can see that p only if p. By contrast, experiential representation of properties or relations is not factive, so you can represent that p even if p is not true
Siegel, Susanna (2006). Which properties are represented in perception? In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Smith, Joel (forthcoming). Seeing Other People. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.   (Google)
Abstract: I present a perceptual account of other minds that combines a Husserlian insight about perceptual experience with a functionalist account of mental properties.
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Wittgenstein, L. (1976). Cause and effect: Intuitive awareness. Philosophia 6 (3-4).   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Woodward, James, Causal perception and causal cognition.   (Google)
Abstract: This paper explores some issues having to do with the perception of causation. It discusses the role that phenomena that that are associated with causal perception, such as Michottean launching interactions, play within philosophical accounts of causation and also speculates on their possible role in development
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Abstract: One evolutionary advantage is that, because of sensory and perceptual relativity (acknowledged as an empirical fact), the tracking of portions of the real relevant to the living creature can be enhanced if updating from species-member to species-member can take place. In human perception, the structure is therefore in the form of a triangulation (Davidson's metaphor) in which continual mutual correction can be performed. Language, that which distinguishes human beings from other animals, capitalizes on that structure. The means by which updating of adaptiveness takes place in the human species is shown to involve a covert hypothesis of singularity in co-reference, a structure that brings the idea of mutual faith and its character to the fore

3.11f The Contents of Perception, Misc

Aranyosi, István, The reappearing act.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In a recent article, Roy Sorensen proposed a very interesting puzzle involving shadows – The Disappearing Act puzzle (2006). It was left unsolved there. Nevertheless, in his latest book he has added a new thought in guise of a solution to it (2008: 73-75). In what follows I will argue that Sorensen’s solution has some shortcomings, and will offer an alternative to it
Bell, John L. (2000). Continuity and the logic of perception. Transcendent Philosophy 1 (2):1-7.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: If we imagine a chess-board with alternate blue and red squares, then this is something in which the individual red and blue areas allow themselves to be distinguished from each other in juxtaposition, and something similar holds also if we imagine each of the squares divided into four smaller squares also alternating between these two colours. If, however, we were to continue with such divisions until we had exceeded the boundary of noticeability for the individual small squares which result, then it would no longer be possible to apprehend the individual red and blue areas in their respective positions. But would we then see nothing at all? Not in the least; rather we would see the whole chessboard as violet, i.e. apprehend it as something that participates simultaneously in red and blue
Bilgrami, Akeel (1994). On McDowell on the content of perceptual experience. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (175):206-13.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Breckenridge, Wylie (2007). Against one reason for thinking that visual experiences have representational content. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):117–123.   (Google | More links)
Brewer, Bill (2006). Perception and content. European Journal of Philosophy 14 (2):165-181.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract: It is close to current orthodoxy that perceptual experience is to be characterized, at least in part, by its representational content, roughly, by the way it represents things as being in the world around the perceiver. Call this basic idea the content view (CV)
Brogaard, Berit, Centered worlds and the content of perception: Short version.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: 0. Relativistic Content In standard semantics, propositional content, whether it be the content of utterances or mental states, has a truth-value relative only to a possible world. For example, the content of my utterance of ‘Jim is sitting now’ is true just in case Jim is sitting at the time of utterance in the actual world, and the content of my belief that Alice will give a talk tomorrow is true just in case Alice will give a talk on the day following the occurrence of my belief state in the actual world. Let us call propositional content which has a truth-value relative only to a possible world ‘non-relativistic content’. Non-relativistic content can be treated as either structured or unstructured. On the unstructured-content view, non-relativistic content is a set of possible worlds and bears the truth-value true just in case the actual world is a member of that set. For example, the content of my utterance of ‘Jim is working now’ at time t is the set of worlds in which Jim is working at t, and this content is true just in case the actual world is among those worlds. On the structured-content view, non-relativistic content is a set or conglomeration of properties and/or objects, where properties are features which objects possess regardless of who considers or observes them and regardless of when they are being considered or observed. Such properties are said to be (or represent) functions from possible worlds to extensions. Relative to a possible world they determine a set of objects instantiating the property. For example, relative to the actual world the property of being human determines the set of actual humans. Not all content is non-relativistic. Let us say that propositional content is relativistic just in case it possesses a truth-value only relative to a centered world. A centered world is a possible world in which an individual and a time are marked, where the marked individual..
Brogaard, Berit, Perceptual content and monadic truth: On Cappelen and Hawthorne's relativism and monadic truth.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: They call T1-T5 the ‘simple view’ or ‘Simplicity’ for short (I will use ‘Simplicity’ and ‘the monadic truth package’ synonymously). C & H say that Simplicity is neutral on what exactly propositions are. They may be Russellian or of some different variety. This, however, does not seem quite right. For example, it is not obvious that Simplicity and Fregeanism are compatible. The 1- intension of ‘That instantiates a property that normally gives rise to red sensations in me’ has a truth-value only relative to a centered world (or a triple of a world, an individual and a time) (Chalmers 2006b). So, Simplicity rules out a treatment of 1-intensions as propositions (and..
Brogaard, Berit (forthcoming). Strong representationalism and centered content. Philosophical Studies.   (Google)
Abstract: I argue that strong representationalism, the view that for a perceptual experience to have a certain phenomenal character just is for it to have a certain representational content (perhaps represented in the right sort of way), encounters two problems: the dual looks problem and the duplication problem. The dual looks problem is this: strong representationalism predicts that how things phenomenally look to the subject reflects the content of the experience. But some objects phenomenally look to both have and not have certain properties, for example, my bracelet may phenomenally look to be circular-shaped and oval-shaped (and hence non-circular-shaped). So, if strong representationalism is true, then the content of my experience ought to represent my bracelet as being both circular-shaped and non-circular-shaped. Yet, intuitively, the content of my experience does not represent my bracelet as being both circular-shaped and non-circular-shaped. The duplication problem is this. On a standard conception of content, spatio-temporally distinct experiences and experiences had by distinct subjects may differ in content despite the fact that they are phenomenally indistinguishable. But this undermines the thesis that phenomenal character determines content. I argue that the two problems can be solved by applying a version of an idea from David Chalmers, which is to recognize the existence of genuinely centered properties in the content of perceptual experience
Byrne, Alex (2009). Experience and content. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):429-451.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The 'content view', in slogan form, is 'Perceptual experiences have representational content'. I explain why the content view should be reformulated to remove any reference to 'experiences'. I then argue, against Bill Brewer, Charles Travis and others, that the content view is true. One corollary of the discussion is that the content of perception is relatively thin (confined, in the visual case, to roughly the output of 'mid-level' vision). Finally, I argue (briefly) that the opponents of the content view are partially vindicated, because perceptual error is due to false belief
Chalmers, David J. (2006). Perception and the fall from Eden. In Tamar S. Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Perceptual Experience. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In the Garden of Eden, we had unmediated contact with the world. We were directly acquainted with objects in the world and with their properties. Objects were simply presented to us without causal mediation, and properties were revealed to us in their true intrinsic glory
Chakrabarti, Arindam (2004). Seeing without recognizing? More on denuding perceptual content. Philosophy East and West 54 (3):365-367.   (Google | More links)
Clark, Austen (2000). A Theory of Sentience. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 107 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Austen Clark offers a general account of the forms of mental representation that we call "sensory." Drawing on the findings of current neuroscience, Clark defends the hypothesis that the various modalities of sensation share a generic form that he calls "feature-placing." Sensing proceeds by picking out place-times in or around the body of the sentient organism, and characterizing qualities (features) that appear at those place-times. The hypothesis casts light on many other troublesome phenomena, including the varieties of illusion, the problem of projection, the notion of a visual field, and the existence of sense-data
Clark, Austen (2004). Sensing, objects, and awareness: Reply to commentators. Philosophical Psychology 17 (4):553-79.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Clark, Austen (1992). Sensory Qualities. Clarendon.   (Cited by 177 | Annotation | Google)
Abstract: Drawing on work in psychophysics, psychometrics, and sensory neurophysiology, Clark analyzes the character and defends the integrity of psychophysical explanations of qualitative facts, arguing that the structure of such explanations is sound and potentially successful
Clark, R. (1976). The sensuous content of perception. In Hector-Neri Castaneda (ed.), Action, Knowledge, and Reality. Bobbs-Merrill.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Crane, Tim (2009). Is perception a propositional attitude? Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):452-469.   (Google)
Abstract: It is widely agreed that perceptual experience is a form of intentionality, i.e., that it has representational content. Many philosophers take this to mean that like belief, experience has propositional content, that it can be true or false. I accept that perceptual experience has intentionality; but I dispute the claim that it has propositional content. This claim does not follow from the fact that experience is intentional, nor does it follow from the fact that experiences are accurate or inaccurate. I end by considering the relationship between this question and the question of whether experience has non-conceptual content
Crane, Tim (ed.) (1992). The Contents of Experience: Essays on Perception. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 49 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The nature of perception has long been a central question in philosophy. It is of central importance not just for the philosophy of mind, but also for epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of science. This volume represents the best of the latest research on perception, with contributions from some of the leading philosophers in the area, including Christopher Peacocke, Brian O'Shaughnessy and Michael Tye. As well as discussing traditional problems, the essays also approach the topic in light of recent research on mental content and representation
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Dilworth, John B. (2005). The double content of perception. Synthese 146 (3):225-243.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Clearly we can perceive both objects, and various aspects or appearances of those objects. But how should that complexity of perceptual content be explained or analyzed? I argue that perceptual representations normally have a double or two level nested structure of content, so as to adequately incorporate information both about contextual aspects Y(X) of an object X, and about the object X itself. On this double content (DC) view, perceptual processing starts with aspectual data Y?(X?) as a higher level of content, which data does not itself provide lower level X-related content, but only an aspectually encoded form of such data. Hence the relevant perceptual data Y?(X?) must be
Dilworth, John B. (2005). The twofold orientational structure of perception. Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):187-203.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I argue that perceptual content involves representations both of aspects of objects, and of objects themselves, whether at the level of conscious perception, or of low-level perceptual processing - a double content structure. I present an 'orientational' theory of the relations of the two kinds of perceptual content, which can accommodate both the general semantic possibility of perceptual misrepresentation, and also species of it involving characteristic perceptual confusions of aspectual and intrinsic content. The resulting theoretical structure is argued to be a broadly methodological or logical one, rather than a substantive theory that is open to empirical refutation
Dokic, J (1998). The ontology of perception: Bipolarity and content. Erkenntnis 48 (2):153-69.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Ducasse, Curt J. (1941). Objectivity, objective reference, and perception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2 (September):43-78.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Gregory, Richard (1970). The Intelligent Eye. Mcgraw-Hill.   (Google)
Gunther, York H. (1995). Perceptual content and the subpersonal. Conference 6 (1):31-45.   (Google)
Hofmann, Frank (ms). Perception: Perspectival content and perceptual achievement.   (Google)
Abstract: According to a classical causal account of perception, to perceive that object x is F is to fulfill the following conditions: (i) one has an experience as of x's being F, (ii) x is F, and (iii) one's experience of x's being F depends causally on x's being F. This is the core of Grice's causal theory of perception, and it is initially quite plausible (Grice 1961)
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Kulvicki, John (2007). What is what it's like? Introducing perceptual modes of presentation. Synthese 156 (2).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The central claim of this paper is that what it is like to see green or any other perceptible property is just the perceptual mode of presentation of that property. Perceptual modes of presentation are important because they help resolve a tension in current work on consciousness. Philosophers are pulled by three mutually inconsistent theses: representational externalism, representationalism, and phenomenal internalism. I throw my hat in with defenders of the first two: the externalist representationalists. We are faced with the problem of explaining away intuitions that favor phenomenal internalism. Perceptual modes of presentation account for what it is like to see properties in a way that accommodates those intuitions without vindicating phenomenal internalism itself. Perceptual MoPs therefore provide a new way of being an externalist representationalist
Kvanvig, Jonathan (2007). Propositionalism and the metaphysics of experience. Philosophical Issues 17 (1):165–178.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: ‘propositionalism’. It counsels beginning inquiry into the nature of justification by adopting a particular form of evidentialism, according to which the first task is to describe the abstract relation of evidencing that holds between propositional contents. Such an approach has a variety of implications for the theory of justification itself, and many of the motivations for the view are of a standard internalist variety. Some of these motivations will be described in due course, but there is also a further motivation to mention here as well. Such a theory, beyond enabling a theory to satisfy typical internalist strictures, also allows a strong relationship between the theory of justification and more standard confirmation theory where claims are confirmed and disconfirmed by information gleaned from experiments and other sources. It is a natural and pleasing result if confirmation theory can be embedded within the theory of justification developed in the context of more traditional epistemology
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Ludwig, Kirk A. (2006). Is the aim of perception to provide accurate representations? In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science. Malden MA: Blackwell Publishing.   (Google)
Macpherson, Fiona (1999). Perfect pitch and the content of experience. Philosophy and Anthropology 3 (2).   (Google | More links)
Matthen, Mohan P. (2004). Features, places, and things: Reflections on Austen Clark's theory of sentience. Philosophical Psychology 17 (4):497-518.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The paper argues that material objects are the primary referents of visual states -- not places, as Austen Clark would have it in his A Theory of Sentience.
Matthen, Mohan P. (1989). Intensionality and perception: A reply to Rosenberg. Journal of Philosophy 86 (December):727-733.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
McDowell, John (1994). The content of perceptual experience. Philosopical Quarterly 44 (175):190-205.   (Cited by 66 | Google | More links)
Millikan, Ruth G. (1991). Perceptual content and Fregean myth. Mind 100 (399):439-459.   (Cited by 21 | Google | More links)
Mohanty, Jitendra N. (1986). Perceptual meaning. Topoi 5 (September):131-136.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Mole, Christopher (2009). The Motor Theory of Speech Perception. In Matthew Nudds & Casey O'Callaghan (eds.), Sounds and Perception: New Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Muñoz-Suárez, Carlos Mario (2009). Sensations, Perceptions and Conceptions. Remarks on Assessability for Accuracy. In V. Munz, J. Wang & K. Puhl (eds.), Language and World. Niederösterreichkultur.   (Google)
Abstract: I shall specify about what we are thinking when we are talking about regulating something by specifying accuracy conditions. The main thesis is that we couldn’t describe representational relations as perceptual relationships if we lack a normative conception of relationships between representing and represented. Hence, searching for what it is assessable for accuracy depends on specifying the kind of intentional content which is normatively individuated and attributed.
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Abstract: I argue that a class of recently-discovered cross-modal illusions gives reason to posit a dimension of content shared across perceptual modalities and to abandon the traditional view according to which perceptual content is exclusively constituted by discrete modality-specific contents
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Abstract: Cross-modal perceptual illusions occur when a stimulus to one modality impacts perceptual experience associated with another modality. Unlike synaesthesia, cross-modal illusions are intelligible as results of perceptual strategies for dealing with sensory stimulation to multiple modalities, rather than as mere quirks. I argue that understanding cross-modal illusions reveals an important flaw in a widespread conception of the senses, and of their role in perceptual experience, according to which understanding perception and perceptual experience is a matter of assembling independently viable stories about vision, audition, olfaction, and the rest.
Pautz, Adam (online). Why believe that experiences have contents?   (Google)
Abstract: I provide an argument from the best explanation for the claim that experiences have contents. In particular, I argue that a common factor account of experience in terms of content provides the best explanation of the fact that both veridical and non-veridical experience can ground the capacity for thought, of indeterminate and impossible experiences, and of other features of experience
Pautz, Adam (online). What does it mean to say that experiences have contents?   (Google)
Abstract: I offer a formulation of the claim that experiences have contents.I also suggest a new method for determining what the contents of our experiences are, which can be applied to the issue of whether high-level properties such as being a tomato enter into the content of experience
Peacocke, Christopher (1986). Analogue content. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 60:1-17.   (Cited by 25 | Google)
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Pendlebury, Michael J. (1987). Perceptual representation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 87:91-106.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
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Prosser, Simon (forthcoming). The two-dimensional content of consciousness. Philosophical Studies 136:319--349.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I put forward a representationalist theory of conscious experience based on Robert Stalnaker
Richeimer, Joel (2000). How philosophy lost perceptual expertise. Synthese 124 (3).   (Google)
Abstract:   If we think of perceptual expertise, we might think ofa neurologist interpreting a CAT scan or an astronomerlooking at a star. But perceptual expertise is notlimited to experts. Perceptual expertise is atthe heart of our everyday competence in the world. Wenavigate around obstacles, we take turns inconversations, we make left-turns in face of on-comingtraffic. Each of us is a perceptual expert (thoughonly in certain domains). If we misunderstandperceptual expertise, we risk misunderstanding ourepistemic relationship to the world. I argue that thestandard arguments for the received view of perceptualexpertise are problematic at best. Of course, theissue of whether the received view is actually correctis an empirical issue. But the decision to adopt thereceived view, I argue, was not a scientific decision,but was made by inheriting a philosophical tradition– which many philosophers today would question
Schellenberg, Susanna (forthcoming). Externalism and the Gappy Content of Hallucination. In D. Platchias & F. E. Macpherson (eds.), Hallucination. MIT Press.   (Google)
Schroeder, Timothy & Caplan, Ben (2007). On the content of experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):590–611.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The intentionalist about consciousness holds that the qualitative character of experience,
Schellenberg, Susanna (forthcoming). Perceptual content defended. Noûs.   (Google)
Abstract: Recently the thesis that experience is fundamentally a matter of representing the world as being a certain way has been questioned by austere relationalists. I defend this thesis by developing a view of perceptual content that avoids the objections of austere relationalists. The main thesis of the paper is that on a relational understanding of perceptual content, the fundamental insights of austere relationalism do not compete with perceptual experience being representational. I argue that most austere relationalist objections to the thesis that experience has content are objections only against accounts of perceptual content on which perceptual relations to the world play no explanatory role. With austere relationalists, I will argue that perceptual experience is fundamentally relational. But against austere relationalists, I will argue that it is fundamentally both relational and representational
Schellenberg, Susanna (2006). Perception in Perspective. Dissertation,   (Google | More links)
Abstract: How can perception yield knowledge of the world? One challenge in answering this question is that one necessarily perceives from a particular location. Thus, what is immediately perceptually available is subject to situational features, such as lighting conditions and one’s location. Nonetheless, one can perceive the shape and color of objects. My dissertation aims to provide an explanation for how this is possible. The main thesis is that giving such an explanation requires abandoning the traditional model of perception as a two-place relation between subjects and objects in favor of a model of perception as a three-place relation between subjects, objects, and situations
Schellenberg, Susanna (2010). The Particularity and Phenomenology of Perceptual Experience. Philosophical Studies 149 (1).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I argue that any account of perceptual experience should satisfy the following two desiderata. First, it should account for the particularity of perceptual experience, that is, it should account for the mind-independent object of an experience making a difference to individuating the experience. Second, it should explain the possibility that perceptual relations to distinct environments could yield subjectively indistinguishable experiences. Relational views of perceptual experience can easily satisfy the first but not the second desideratum. Representational views can easily satisfy the second but not the first desideratum. I argue that to satisfy both desiderata perceptual experience is best conceived of as fundamentally both relational and representational. I develop a view of perceptual experience that synthesizes the virtues of relationalism and representationalism, by arguing that perceptual content is constituted by potentially gappy de re modes of presentation.
Schellenberg, Susanna (2008). The Situation-Dependency of Perception. The Journal of Philosophy 105 (2):55-84.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I argue that perception is necessarily situation-dependent. The way an object is must not just be distinguished from the way it appears and the way it is represented, but also from the way it is presented given the situational features. First, I argue that the way an object is presented is best understood in terms of external, mind-independent, but situation-dependent properties of objects. Situation-dependent properties are exclusively sensitive to and ontologically dependent on the intrinsic properties of objects, such as their shape, size, and color, and the situational features, such as the lighting conditions and the perceiver’s location in relation to the perceived object. Second, I argue that perceiving intrinsic properties is epistemically dependent on representing situation-dependent properties. Recognizing situation-dependent properties yields four advantages. It makes it possible to embrace the motivations that lead to phenomenalism and indirect realism by recognizing that objects are presented a certain way, while holding on to the intuition that subjects directly perceive objects. Second, it acknowledges that perceptions are not just individuated by the objects they are of, but by the ways those objects are presented given the situational features. Third, it allows for a way to accommodate the fact that there is a wide range of viewing conditions or situational features that can count as normal. Finally, it makes it possible to distinguish perception and thought about the same object with regard to what is represented.
Schellenberg, Susanna (2008). The situation-dependency of perception. Journal of Philosophy 105 (2):55-84.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The fundamental philosophical interest in perception is to answer the question of how perception can give us knowledge of the world. One of the challenges in answering this question is that perception is necessarily tied to a particular time and place. One necessarily perceives from a particular location and at a particular time. As a consequence, what is immediately perceptually available is subject to situational features, such as one’s point of view and the lighting conditions. But although objects are always perceived subject to situational features, one can perceive the shape and color of objects.<sup>1</sup> One can perceive the shape of objects although only the facing surfaces are visible and one can perceive two objects to be the same size although one is nearer than the other. Similarly, one can perceive the uniform color of a surface although parts of it are illuminated more brightly than others<sup>2</sup> and one can recognize the sound of a cello regardless of whether it is played on a street or in a concert hall. More generally, one can perceive the properties objects have regardless of the situational features, although one always perceives them subject to situational features
Shoemaker, Sydney (2002). Reply to Leeds. Noûs 36 (1):130-136.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Siegel, Susanna, Do visual experiences have contents.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: If you want to know whether there is any mustard in the refrigerator, it is a good idea to open the door and look. If you see the mustard, you can end up knowing its whereabouts: it’s in the fridge. If instead of looking for the mustard, you pictured the fridge interior in a daydream, and then relied on your daydream to confirm whether the fridge contained mustard or not, you wouldn’t end up knowing anything about the mustard or the fridge. At best you would end up with a true belief. As the mustard example illustrates, it is part of common practice to regard perception as a special kind of input to belief that allows us to compare hypotheses with the world, so that we may assess whether those hypotheses are true. Even philosophers who were cautious about assigning perception more than a causal role in relation to knowledge regard perception as involving a special sort of input, different in kind from belief and judgment. For instance, Locke distinguished ideas of sensation from ideas of reflection, and Hume distinguished impressions from ideas. Both in common practice and in philosophy, perception is regarded as a distinctive kind of mental state that serves as an input to belief, and is distinct from it. It is one thing to regard perceptual states as distinct from belief, but another to say what is distinctive about them. What distinguishes perceptual states from beliefs, daydreams, and all other kinds of mental states? In this paper I address this question for a specific class of perceptual states: conscious visual experiences, where these are the kind of experience one typically has in seeing one’s environment, or are [1] introspectively indistinguishable from them. Conscious visual experiences thus include visual hallucinations that are introspectively indistinguishable from veridical perceptions. I argue that visual perceptual experiences share an important feature with beliefs: they have contents, in a sense to be explained. Given this similarity between visual experiences and beliefs, their distinctness from belief must be found either in a further structure from which their contents have been derived, from a special mode of entertaining contents (distinct from the mode found in belief). My discussion will focus on interpreting, developing and defending the following thesis: The Content View: All visual perceptual experiences have contents. The kind of content at issue meets two constraints: contents are true or false, and contents of experience are conveyed to the subject by her experience..
Siegel, Susanna (2007). How can we discover the contents of experience? Southern Journal Of Philosophy:127-42.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper I discuss several proposals for how to find out which contents visual experiences have, and I defend the method I
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Sorensen, Roy A. (2008). Seeing Dark Things: The Philosophy of Shadows. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: The eclipse riddle -- Seeing surfaces -- The disappearing act -- Spinning shadows -- Berkeley's shadow -- Para-reflections -- Para-refractions : shadowgrams and the black drop -- Goethe's colored shadows -- Filtows -- Holes in the light -- Black and blue -- Seeing in black and white -- We see in the dark -- Hearing silence.
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Speaks, Jeff (ms). A quick argument against phenomenism, Fregeanism, appearance property-ism and (maybe) functionalism about perceptual content.   (Google)
Abstract: A short paper which is pretty much what its title says it is.
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Talmont-Kaminski, Konrad & Collier, John D. (2004). Saving the distinctions: Distinctions as the epistemologically significant content of experience. In Johann Christian Marek & Maria Elisabeth Reicher (eds.), Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society XII. Austrian L. Wittgenstein Society, Kirchberg.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: To account for a perceived distinction it is necessary to postulate a real distinction. Our process of experiencing the world is one of, mostly unconscious, interpretation of observed distinctions to provide us with a partial world-picture that is sufficient to guide action. The distinctions, themselves, are acorrigible (they do not have a truth value), directly perceived, structured, and capable of being interpreted. Interpreted experience is corrigible, representational and capable of guiding action. Since interpretation is carried out mostly unconsciously and in real time, the two aspects are present in experience together so that it is difficult to separate them out
Thompson, Brad J. (2009). Senses for senses. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):99 – 117.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: If two subjects have phenomenally identical experiences, there is an important sense in which the way the world appears to them is precisely the same. But how are we to understand this notion of 'ways of appearing'? Most philosophers who have acknowledged the existence of phenomenal content have held that the way something appears is simply a matter of the properties something appears to have. On this view, the way something appears is simply the way something appears to be . This identification supports a Russellian theory of phenomenal content, according to which phenomenal content is exhausted by facts about what specific properties are represented by an experience. The present paper motivates and develops an alternative Fregean theory of phenomenal colour content. According to Fregean theories, the phenomenal content that is shared by any two phenomenally identical experiences is a matter of how the world is represented, and need not involve sameness in what is represented. It is argued that ways of appearing are modes of presentations of external properties and objects, and a detailed theory is presented about the nature of the modes of presentation involved in colour experience
Travis, Charles S. (2004). The silence of the senses. Mind 113 (449):57-94.   (Cited by 26 | Google | More links)
Abstract: There is a view abroad on which (a) perceptual experience has (a) representational content in this sense: in it something is represented to the perceiver as so. On the view, a perceptual experience has a face value at which it may be taken, or which may be rejected. This paper argues that that view is mistaken: there is nothing in perceptual experience which makes it so that in it anything is represented as so (except insofar as the perceiver represents things to himself as so). In that sense, the senses are silent, or, in Austin's term, dumb. Perceptual experience is not as such either veridical or delusive. It may mislead, but it does not take representation to accomplish that
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Abstract: Disjunctivists (Hinton 1973, Snowdon 1990, Martin 2002, 2006) often motivate their approach to perceptual experience by appealing in part to the claim that in cases of veridical perception, the subject is directly in contact with the perceived object. When I perceive a table, for example, there is no table-like sense-impression that stands as an intermediary between the table and me. Nor am I related to the table as I am to a deer when I see its footprint in the snow. I do not experience the table by experiencing some- thing else over and above the table and its facing surface. I see the facing surface of the table directly
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Wojtach, William T. (2009). Reconsidering perceptual content. Philosophy of Science 76 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: An important class of teleological theories cannot explain the representational content of visual states because they fail to address the relationship between the world, projected retinal stimuli, and perception. A different approach for achieving a naturalized theory of visual content is offered that rejects the traditional internalism/externalism debate in favor of what is termed “empirical externalism.” This position maintains that, while teleological considerations can underwrite a broad understanding of representation, the content of visual representation can only be determined empirically according to accumulated past experience. A corollary is that a longstanding problem concerning the indeterminacy of visual content is dissolved. *Received September 2006; revised November 2008. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Box 90999 LSRC, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708; e‐mail: wtw3@duke.edu
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