Husserl’s first-personal view of perceptual experience furnishes a principled alternative to current mainstream views. On the Husserlian view, perceptual contents are fulfillment conditions, rather than accuracy conditions. We perceive objects in terms of possibilities of degrees and kinds of fulfillment, i.e., better and more complete givenness, as when I examine an object from different sides, to attain a more complete overview. The idea of fulfillment also yields a non-inferential conception of how perceptual experiences justify beliefs or judgments: if I believe that there is a blackbird in the tree and then see that there is one, the two acts enter into a synthesis of fulfillment, providing justification for the belief. Lastly, the focus on fulfillments brings center-stage perceivers' embodiment, with the body’s kinaesthetic systems taking on a constitutive role in visual and other perceptual experiences.
|Key works||Parts of the classic Tugendhat 1967 discuss perceptual experiences in relation to the topics of fulfillment and truth. Mensch 1981, taking Husserl’s rejection of psychologism as starting point, explores the relations perceptual experiences bear to the world and to the cognitive states (or “acts”) they justify, in the Logical Investigations and Ideas I. Melle 1983 argues that Husserl, unlike Gurwitsch and Merleau-Ponty, has a “meaning-theoretic” and “intellectualist” conception of the perceptual noema. Miller 1984 discusses Husserl's views of perceptual experiences, including the perception of time, from the point of view of the so-called West Coast interpretation, incorporating Fregean motifs. Mulligan 1995 compares Husserl’s views of perceptual experiences with those of the Gestalt psychologists, and examines Husserl's uses of the notion of “apprehension,” regarding perceptual experiences. Hopp 2011 draws upon Husserl’s views of perception and fulfillment to contribute to current debates on perceptual justification, viewing fulfillment as a kind of non-inferential perceptual justification, and taking perceptual contents as non-conceptual. Another recent contribution is Borsato 2009, considering inner and outer perception vis-à-vis imagination, and examining the relations between Brentano’s and Husserl’s views. Bernet 1978|
|Introductions||Bernet et al 1993, Ch. 4, Woodruff Smith 2006, Ch. 6|
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David Bourget (Western Ontario)
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