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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
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
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)
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..
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..
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
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
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
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)
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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  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..
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
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
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