Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):239-255 (2021)

Matt Bower
Texas State University
A number of philosophers have held that we visually experience objects’ occluded parts, such as the out-of-view exterior of a voluminous, opaque object. That idea is supposed to be what best explains the fact that we see objects as whole or complete despite having only a part of them in view at any given moment. Yet, the claim doesn’t express a phenomenological datum and the reasons for thinking we do experience objects’ occluded parts, I argue, aren’t compelling. Additionally, I anticipate and reply to attempts to salvage the idea by appeal to perceptual expectation and amodal completion. Lastly, I address potential concerns that the only way to capture the phenomenal character of perceiving voluminous objects is to say experience outstrips what’s in view, providing a description of such experience without any implication of that idea.
Keywords perception  phenomenology  consciousness  edmund husserl  amodal perception  philosophy of mind  spatial perception
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