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3.11f. The Contents of Perception, Misc (The Contents of Perception, Misc on PhilPapers)

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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
Davies, W. M. (1996). Experience and Content: Consequences of a Continuum Theory. Avebury.   (Google)
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)
Jacovides, Michael (ms). Do experiences represent?   (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
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
Leon, Mark . (1986). Interpreting experience. Philosophical Papers 15 (November):107-130.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Levine, Joseph (2004). Thoughts on sensory representation: A commentary on Austen Clark's a theory of sentience. Philosophical Psychology 17 (4):541-551.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
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.
O'Callaghan, Casey (2006). Cross-modal illusions and perceptual content: Lessons from cross-modal illusions. Electroneurobiolog 14 (2):211-224.   (Google)
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
O'Callaghan, Casey (2008). Seeing what you hear: Cross-modal illusions and perception. Philosophical Issues 18 (1):316-338.   (Google | More links)
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)
Peacocke, Christopher (1989). Perceptual content. In J. Almog, John Perry & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 27 | Google)
Peacocke, Christopher (1983). Sense and Content: Experience, Thought, and Their Relations. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 230 | Google | More links)
Pendlebury, Michael J. (1987). Perceptual representation. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 87:91-106.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Pendlebury, Michael J. (1990). Sense experiences and their contents: A defense of the propositional account. Inquiry 33 (2):215-30.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google)
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
Siegel, Susanna (online). The contents of perception. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Smith, David Woodruff (1984). Content and context of perception. Synthese 61 (October):61-88.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Smith, David Woodruff (1979). The case of the exploding perception. Synthese 41 (June):239-270.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Smith, David Woodruff (1986). The ins and outs of perception. Philosophical Studies 49 (March):187-211.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
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.
Sosa, Ernest (1988). Contents and objects of experience. Grazer Philosophische Studien 32:209-212.   (Google)
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.
Still, Arthur (1979). Perception and representation. In Philosophical Problems In Psychology. London: Methuen.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
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: 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:
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