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Perceptual Content Defended

Noûs 45 (4):714 - 750 (2011)

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  1. Two Versions of the Conceptual Content of Experience.Daniel E. Kalpokas - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (1):36-55.
    In ‘Avoiding the Myth of the Given’, McDowell revisits the main themes of Mind and World in order to make two important corrections: first, he does not longer believe that the content of perceptual...
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  • Does Property-Perception Entail the Content View?Keith A. Wilson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    Visual perception is widely taken to present properties such as redness, roundness, and so on. This in turn might be thought to give rise to accuracy conditions for experience, and so content, regardless of which metaphysical view of perception one endorses. An influential version of this argument—Susanna Siegel’s ’Argument from Appearing’—aims to establish the existence of content as common ground between representational and relational views of perception. This goes against proponents of ‘austere’ relationalism who deny that content plays a substantive (...)
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  • A New Case of the Myth of the Given?Daniel E. Kalpokas - forthcoming - Theoria.
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  • Descriptive As Ifs.Justin Bledin & Sadhwi Srinivas - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-48.
    This is the first part of a larger project that aims to develop a cross-categorical semantic account of a broad range of as if constructions in English. In this paper, we focus on descriptive uses of as if with regular truth-conditional content. The core proposal is that as if-phrases contribute hypothetical and comparative properties of situations, which are instantiated by an event, state, or larger situation when it resembles in some relevant respect its counterparts in selected stereotypical worlds described by (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):114-133.
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  • Perception as a Contentful Relation.Daniel E. Kalpokas - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):740-754.
    European Journal of Philosophy, Volume 30, Issue 2, Page 740-754, June 2022.
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  • Implications of Intensional Perceptual Ascriptions for Relationalism, Disjunctivism, and Representationalism About Perceptual Experience.David Bourget - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):381-408.
    This paper aims to shed new light on certain philosophical theories of perceptual experience by examining the semantics of perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees an apple.” I start with the assumption, recently defended elsewhere, that perceptual ascriptions lend themselves to intensional readings. In the first part of the paper, I defend three theses regarding such readings: I) intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions ascribe phenomenal properties, II) perceptual verbs are not ambiguous between intensional and extensional readings, and III) intensional perceptual (...)
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  • Naïve realism and seeing aspects.Daniel E. Kalpokas - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-16.
    Naïve realism is the view according to which perception is a non-representational relation of conscious awareness to mind-independent objects and properties. According to this approach, the phenomenal character of experience is constituted by just the objects, properties, or facts presented to the senses. In this article, I argue that such a conception of the phenomenology of experience faces a clear counter-example, i.e., the experience of seeing aspects. The discussion suggests that, to accommodating such a kind of experience, it must be (...)
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  • Experience, Seemings, and Evidence.Indrek Reiland - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):510-534.
    Many people have recently argued that we need to distinguish between experiences and seemings and that this has consequences for views about how perception provides evidence. In this article I spell out my take on these issues by doing three things. First, I distinguish between mere sensations like seeing pitch black all around you and perceptual experiences like seeing a red apple. Both have sensory phenomenology in presenting us with sensory qualities like colors, being analog in Dretske's sense, and being (...)
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  • Phenomenal Evidence and Factive Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):875-896.
    Perceptions guide our actions and provide us with evidence of the world around us. Illusions and hallucinations can mislead us: they may prompt as to act in ways that do not mesh with the world around us and they may lead us to form false beliefs about that world. The capacity view provides an account of evidence that does justice to these two facts. It shows in virtue of what illusions and hallucinations mislead us and prompt us to act. Moreover, (...)
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  • Phenomenal Evidence and Factive Evidence Defended: Replies to McGrath, Pautz, and Neta.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):929-946.
    This paper defends and develops the capacity view against insightful critiques from Matt McGrath, Adam Pautz, and Ram Neta. In response to Matt McGrath, I show why capacities are essential and cannot simply be replaced with representational content. I argue moreover, that the asymmetry between the employment of perceptual capacities in the good and the bad case is sufficient to account for the epistemic force of perceptual states yielded by the employment of such capacities. In response to Adam Pautz, I (...)
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  • Perceptual Content and Relations.Susanna Schellenberg - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):49-55.
  • Experience and Evidence.Susanna Schellenberg - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):699-747.
    I argue that perceptual experience provides us with both phenomenal and factive evidence. To a first approximation, we can understand phenomenal evidence as determined by how our environment sensorily seems to us when we are experiencing. To a first approximation, we can understand factive evidence as necessarily determined by the environment to which we are perceptually related such that the evidence is guaranteed to be an accurate guide to the environment. I argue that the rational source of both phenomenal and (...)
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  • Intentionalism, Defeasibility, and Justification.Kathrin Glüer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1007-1030.
    According to intentionalism, perceptual experience is a mental state with representational content. When it comes to the epistemology of perception, it is only natural for the intentionalist to hold that the justificatory role of experience is at least in part a function of its content. In this paper, I argue that standard versions of intentionalism trying to hold on to this natural principle face what I call the “defeasibility problem”. This problem arises from the combination of standard intentionalism with further (...)
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  • Content Disjunctivism and the Perception of Appearances.Martin A. Lipman - 2021 - Philosophers' Imprint 21 (18).
    Content disjunctivism is the view that veridical experience involves contents and objects that differ from those of corresponding hallucinations. On one formulation of this view, we are aware of ordinary material things in our surroundings when we experience veridically, and we are aware of mere appearances when we hallucinate. This paper proposes a way of developing this view and offers some considerations in support. Central to the proposed regimentation will be a distinction between different notions of appearance. We distinguish between (...)
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  • The problem of presentations: how it is that one object is perceptually given in multiple ways.Konrad Werner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-25.
    This paper answers a philosophical challenge that emerges when we problematize the seemingly trivial "fact" that, on the one hand, through our senses we are presented with a realm that is not of our own making; while, on the other hand, various perceivers are acquainted with diverse presentations of this realm, depending on their perspective and cognitive machinery. The challenge is dubbed here the problem of presentations. The paper draws on the idea of situation-dependent properties proposed by Susanna Schellenberg. However, (...)
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  • Knowledge‐First Perceptual Epistemology: A Comment on Littlejohn and Millar.David de Bruijn - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
  • Experience and Reason.Fabian Dorsch - 2011 - Rero Doc.
    This collection brings together a selection of my recently published or forthcoming articles. What unites them is their common concern with one of the central ambitions of philosophy, namely to get clearer about our first-personal perspective onto the world and our minds. Three aspects of that perspective are of particular importance: consciousness, intentionality, and rationality. The collected essays address metaphysical and epistemological questions both concerning the nature of each of these aspects and concerning the various connections among them. More generally, (...)
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  • “I Am the Original of All Objects”: Apperception and the Substantial Subject.Colin McLear - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (26):1-38.
    Kant’s conception of the centrality of intellectual self-consciousness, or “pure apperception”, for scientific knowledge of nature is well known, if still obscure. Here I argue that, for Kant, at least one central role for such self-consciousness lies in the acquisition of the content of concepts central to metaphysical theorizing. I focus on one important concept, that of <substance>. I argue that, for Kant, the representational content of the concept <substance> depends not just on the capacity for apperception, but on the (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):114-133.
    I argue that perceptual consciousness is constituted by a mental activity. The mental activity in question is the activity of employing perceptual capacities, such as discriminatory, selective capacities. This is a radical view, but I hope to make it plausible. In arguing for this mental activist view, I reject orthodox views on which perceptual consciousness is analyzed in terms of peculiar entities, such as, phenomenal properties, external mind-independent properties, propositions, sense-data, qualia, or intentional objects.
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  • Why Externalist Representationalism is a Form of Disjunctivism.Laura Gow - 2018 - Ratio 31 (S1):35-50.
    Externalist representationalism is touted as a superior rival to naïve realism, and yet a careful analysis of the externalist representationalist's analysis of our ordinary perceptual experiences shows the view to be far closer to naïve realism than we might have expected. One of the central advertised benefits of representationalist views in general is that they are compatible with the idea that ordinary, illusory and hallucinatory perceptual experiences are of the same fundamental kind. Naïve realists are forced to deny the ‘common (...)
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  • Non‐Conceptualism and the Myth of the Given.Daniel E. Kalpokas - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (3):331-363.
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  • A Puzzle About the Experience of Left and Right.Brian Cutter - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Imagine your mirror-inverted counterpart on Mirror Earth, a perfect mirror image of Earth. Would her experiences be the same as yours, or would they be phenomenally mirror-inverted? I argue, first, that her experiences would be phenomenally the same as yours. I then show that this conclusion gives rise to a puzzle, one that I believe pushes us toward some surprising and philosophically significant conclusions about the nature of perception. When you have a typical visual experience as of something to your (...)
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  • Consciousness and Content in Perception.Bill Brewer - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):41-54.
    Normal perception involves conscious experience of the world. What I call the Content View, (CV), attempts to account for this in terms of the representational content of perception (Brewer, 2011, esp. ch. 4). I offer a new argument here against this view. Ascription of personal level content, either conceptual or nonconceptual, depends on the idea that determinate predicational information is conveyed to the subject. This determinate predication depends upon the exercise of certain personal level capacities for categorization and discrimination. Exercise (...)
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  • Levinas's Philosophy of Perception.Matt E. M. Bower - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4):383-414.
    Levinas is usually discussed as a philosopher wrestling with the nature of our experience of others, ethical obligation, and the divine. Unlike other phenomenologists, such as Husserl and Heidegger, he is not often mentioned in discussions about issues in philosophy of mind. His work in that area, especially on perception, is underappreciated. He gives an account of the nature of perceptual experience that is remarkable both in how it departs from that of others in the phenomenological tradition and for how (...)
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  • Ontological Minimalism About Phenomenology.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):1-40.
    I develop a view of the common factor between subjectively indistinguishable perceptions and hallucinations that avoids analyzing experiences as involving awareness relations to abstract entities, sense-data, or any other peculiar entities. The main thesis is that hallucinating subjects employ concepts (or analogous nonconceptual structures), namely the very same concepts that in a subjectively indistinguishable perception are employed as a consequence of being related to external, mind-independent objects or property-instances. These concepts and nonconceptual structures are identified with modes of presentation types. (...)
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  • Burge’s Defense of Perceptual Content.Todd Ganson, Ben Bronner & Alex Kerr - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):556-573.
    A central question, if not the central question, of philosophy of perception is whether sensory states have a nature similar to thoughts about the world, whether they are essentially representational. According to the content view, at least some of our sensory states are, at their core, representations with contents that are either accurate or inaccurate. Tyler Burge’s Origins of Objectivity is the most sustained and sophisticated defense of the content view to date. His defense of the view is problematic in (...)
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  • Kind Properties and the Metaphysics of Perception: Towards Impure Relationalism.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):487-509.
    A central debate in contemporary philosophy of perception is between those who hold that perception is a detection relation of sensory awareness and those who hold that it is representational state akin to belief. Another key debate is between those who claim that we can perceive natural or artifactual kind properties, e.g. ‘being a tomato’, ‘being a doorknob’, etc. and those who hold we cannot. The current consensus is that these debates are entirely unrelated. I argue that this consensus is (...)
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  • Husserl on Perception: A Nonrepresentationalism That Nearly Was.Matt Bower - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1768-1790.
    There is a longstanding debate among Husserl scholars about whether Husserl thinks perception involves mental representation. The debate, I believe, has not been settled. I deny that the existentialist-inspired charge of representationalism about perception in Husserl is precise enough to stick. Given a clearer understanding of just what mental representation amounts to, I contend that those who defend Husserl against the accusation of representationalism fare little better than Husserl's existentialist-leaning critics. I argue that he is in fact a representationalist about (...)
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  • Perception, Content, Generality.Andrea Giananti - 2020 - Theoria 86 (2):245-267.
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  • Phenomenology Without Representation.Thomas Raleigh - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):1209-1237.
    I criticise a recent variety of argument for the representational theory of experience, which holds that the very idea of perceptual experience entails the representational view. I argue that the representational view is not simply obvious, nor is it contained in the mere idea of the world looking some way. I also clarify and re-present an argument against the representational view due to Charles Travis.
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  • Phenomenology Without Representation.Thomas Raleigh - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):1209-1237.
    I criticise a recent variety of argument for the representational theory of experience, which holds that the very idea of perceptual experience entails the representational view. I argue that the representational view is not simply obvious, nor is it contained in the mere idea of the world looking some way. I also clarify and re-present an argument against the representational view due to Charles Travis.
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  • In Defense of Perceptual Content.Susanna Schellenberg - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):409-447.
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  • Perceptual Particularity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):25-54.
    Perception grounds demonstrative reference, yields singular thoughts, and fixes the reference of singular terms. Moreover, perception provides us with knowledge of particulars in our environment and justifies singular thoughts about particulars. How does perception play these cognitive and epistemic roles in our lives? I address this question by exploring the fundamental nature of perceptual experience. I argue that perceptual states are constituted by particulars and discuss epistemic, ontological, psychologistic, and semantic approaches to account for perceptual particularity.
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  • Some Hallucinations Are Experiences of the Past.Michael Barkasi - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (3):454-488.
    When you hallucinate an object, you are not in the normal sort of concurrent causal sensory interaction with that object. It's standardly further inferred that the hallucinated object does not actually exist. But the lack of normal concurrent causal sensory interaction does not imply that there does not exist an object that is hallucinated. It might be a past‐perceived object. In this paper, I argue that this claim holds for at least some interesting cases of hallucination. Hallucinations generated by misleading (...)
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  • Outline of an Account of Experience.Anil Gupta - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (1):33-74.
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  • Perceptual Confidence.John Morrison - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):15-48.
    Perceptual Confidence is the view that perceptual experiences assign degrees of confidence. After introducing, clarifying, and motivating Perceptual Confidence, I catalogue some of its more interesting consequences, such as the way it blurs the distinction between veridical and illusory experiences, a distinction that is sometimes said to carry a lot of metaphysical weight. I also explain how Perceptual Confidence fills a hole in our best scientific theories of perception and why it implies that experiences don't have objective accuracy conditions.
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  • Naïve Realism and the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception.Dan Cavedon-Taylor - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (3):391-412.
    Perceptual experience has representational content. My argument for this claim is an inference to the best explanation. The explanandum is cognitive penetration. In cognitive penetration, perceptual experiences are either causally influenced, or else are partially constituted, by mental states that are representational, including: mental imagery, beliefs, concepts and memories. If perceptual experiences have representational content, then there is a background condition for cognitive penetration that renders the phenomenon prima facie intelligible. Naïve realist or purely relational accounts of perception leave cognitive (...)
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  • Post-Perceptual Confidence and Supervaluative Matching Profile.Tony Cheng - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (3):249-277.
    ABSTRACT Issues concerning the putative perception/cognition divide are not only age-old, but also resurface in contemporary discussions in various forms. In this paper, I connect a relatively new debate concerning perceptual confidence to the perception/cognition divide. The term ‘perceptual confidence’ is quite common in the empirical literature, but there is an unsettled question about it, namely: are confidence assignments perceptual or post-perceptual? John Morrison in two recent papers puts forward the claim that confidence arises already at the level of perception. (...)
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  • Moral Agents in a Moral World: A New Account of Moral Realism and Moral Perception.Lanell Maria Mason - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Reading
    The purpose of this thesis is to provide a metaphysic for moral realism and moral perception. This thesis is in two parts. The first is concerned with basic ontology. I begin in chapter 1 with an analysis of causation, demonstrating that substance theory is superior to Humeanism at accounting for our observations; thus I defend a substance ontology. In chapter 2, I address human agency, demonstrating that reasons internalism does not allow for incompatibilist freedom; hence, I affirm reasons are states (...)
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  • Perceptual Presentation and the Myth of the Given.Alfonso Anaya - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7453-7476.
    This paper articulates and argues for the plausibility of the Presentation View of Perceptual Knowledge, an under-discussed epistemology of perception. On this view, a central epistemological role of perception is that of making subjects aware of their surroundings. By doing so, perception affords subjects with reasons for world-directed judgments. Moreover, the very perceived concrete entities are identified as those reasons. The former claim means that the position is a reasons-based epistemology; the latter means that it endorses a radically anti-psychologist conception (...)
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  • Naive Realism, Representationalism, and the Rationalizing Role of Visual Perception.Craig French - 2020 - Philosophical Issues 30 (1):102-119.
    Philosophical Issues, Volume 30, Issue 1, Page 102-119, October 2020.
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  • Unsuccessful Remembering: A Challenge for the Relational View of Memory.André Sant’Anna - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    This paper explores the relationship between a prominent version of the relational view of memory and recent work on forms of unsuccessful remembering or memory errors. I argue that unsuccessful remembering poses an important challenge for the relational view. Unsuccessful remembering can be divided into two kinds: misremembering and confabulating. I discuss each of these cases in light of a recent relational account, according to which remembering is characterized by an experiential relation to past events, and I argue that experiential (...)
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  • The Way Things Look: A Defence of Content.Andrea Giananti - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (3):541-562.
    How does perceptual experience disclose the world to our view? In the first introductory section, I set up a contrast between the representational and the purely relational conception of perceptual experience. In the second section, I discuss an argument given by Charles Travis against perceptual content. The third section is devoted to the phenomenon of perceptual constancy: in 3.1 I describe the phenomenon. In 3.2 I argue that the description given suggests a phenomenological distinction that can be deployed for a (...)
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  • Please Mind the Gappy Content.Johan Gersel - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):219-239.
    Representationalist theories of experience face the problem that two sets of compelling intuitions seem to support the contrary conclusions that we should ascribe, respectively, singular contents and general contents to experience. Susanna Schellenberg has, in a series of articles, argued that we can conserve both sets of intuitions if we award a central explanatory role to the notions of gappy-contents and content-schemas in our theory of experience. I argue that there is difficulty in seeing how gappy-contents and content-schemas can fulfil (...)
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  • Perception Pragmatized: A Pragmatic Reconciliation of Representationalism and Relationalism.André Sant’Anna - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):411-432.
    This paper develops a theory of perception that reconciles representationalism and relationalism by relying on pragmatist ideas. I call it the pragmatic view of perception. I argue that fully reconciling representationalism and relationalism requires, first, providing a theory in which how we perceive the world involves representations; second, preserving the idea that perception is constitutively shaped by its objects; and third, offering a direct realist account of perception. This constitutes what I call the Hybrid Triad. I discuss how Charles Peirce’s (...)
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  • Spatial Experience and Special Relativity.Brian Cutter - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (9):2297-2313.
    In recent work, David Chalmers argues that “Edenic shapes”—roughly, the shape properties phenomenally presented in spatial experience—are not instantiated in our world. His reasons come largely from the theory of Special Relativity. Although Edenic shapes might have been instantiated in a classical Newtonian world, he maintains that they could not be instantiated in a relativistic world like our own. In this essay, I defend realism about Edenic shape, the thesis that Edenic shapes are instantiated in our world, against Chalmers’s challenge (...)
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  • Experience and Justification: Revisiting McDowell’s Empiricism.Daniel Kalpokas - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):715-738.
    In this paper I try to defend McDowell’s empiricism from a certain objection made by Davidson, Stroud and Glüer. The objection states that experiences cannot be reasons because they are—as McDowell conceives them—inert. I argue that, even though there is something correct in the objection, that is not sufficient for rejecting the epistemological character that McDowell attributes to experiences. My strategy consists basically in showing that experiences involve a constitutive attitude of acceptance of their contents.
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  • Defeating Looks.Kathrin Glüer - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):2985-3012.
    In previous work, I have suggested a doxastic account of perceptual experience according to which experiences form a kind of belief: Beliefs with what I have called “phenomenal” or “looks-content”. I have argued that this account can not only accommodate the intuitive reason providing role of experience, but also its justificatory role. I have also argued that, in general, construing experience and perceptual beliefs, i.e. the beliefs most directly based on experience, as having different contents best accounts for the defeasibility (...)
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  • Illusionism: Making the Problem of Hallucinations Disappear.Rami El Ali - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Miami
    My dissertation contributes to a central and ongoing debate in the philosophy of perception about the fundamental nature of perceptual states. Such states include cases like seeing, hearing, or tasting as well as cases of merely seeming to see, hear, or taste. A central question about perceptual states arises in light of misperceptual phenomena. A commonsensical view of perceptual states construes them as simply relating us to the external and mind independent objects. But some misperceptual cases suggest that these states (...)
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