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Abstract: Today, many philosophers think that perceptual experiences are conscious mental states with representational content and phenomenal character. Subscribers to this view often go on to construe experience more precisely as a propositional attitude sui generis ascribing sensible properties to ordinary material objects. I argue that experience is better construed as a kind of belief ascribing 'phenomenal' properties to such objects. A belief theory of this kind deals as well with the traditional arguments against doxastic accounts as the sui generis view. Moreover, in contrast to sui generis views, it can quite easily account for the rational or reason providing role of experience
Abstract: Any adequate account of perceptual experience has to provide answers to the following questions: What kind, and form of, content do experiences have? What kind of mental states are they? Many, if not most philosophers of perception today agree that experiences have representational contents of the form x is F, where x ranges over material objects and F over sensible properties. I argue that such a "naive semantics" for experiences has to give the wrong answer to the second question. Because of their justificatory role for, and inferential integration into, a subject's belief system, experiences themselves have to be construed as a kind of belief. I also sketch a semantics that allows experiences to be beliefs.