Dretske on Non‐Epistemic Seeing

Theoria 83 (4):364-393 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this article, I make a distinction between two versions of non-epistemicism about seeing, and bring explicitly into view and argue against a particular version defended by Dretske. More specifically, I distinguish non-epistemic seeing as non-conceptual seeing, where concept possession is assumed to be cognitively demanding, from non-epistemic seeing as seeing without noticing, where noticing is assumed to be relatively cognitively undemanding. After showing that Dretske argues for the possibility of non-epistemic seeing in both senses of the term, I target his thesis that a given subject sees all the objects that are visually differentiated in her visual field, where visual differentiation does not require that she notice those objects. I argue that the notion of a visual field deployed in the formulation of the thesis cannot be phenomenal and therefore that seeing without noticing amounts to mere visual confrontation. I further argue that since the epistemicist does not deny the existence of seeing without noticing in the sense of mere visual confrontation, there is a clear sense in which Dretske's non-epistemicism turns out to be trivial.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,400

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Object seeing and Spatial Perception.Craig French - 2018 - In Fiona Macpherson & Fabian Dorsch (eds.), Phenomenal Presence. Oxford University Press.
Visual perception and subjective visual awareness.Antti Revonsuo - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):769-770.
Sound and Vision.Edward Jones-Imhotep - 2012 - Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):191-202.
Dretske on knowledge and content.Olav Gjelsvik - 1991 - Synthese 86 (March):425-41.
Visual Data – Reasons to Be Relied on?Nicola Mößner - 2017 - In Nicola Mößner & Alfred Nordmann (eds.), Reasoning in Measurement. New York: Routledge. pp. 99-110.
Successful visual epistemic representation.Agnes Bolinska - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:153-160.
Perception and belief.A. D. Smith - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (2):283-309.
Inscrutability and visual objects.Ben Phillips - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2949-2971.


Added to PP

58 (#206,315)

6 months
4 (#184,953)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Erhan Demircioglu
Koc University

Citations of this work

Toward a Perceptual Account of Mindreading.Somogy Varga - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):380-401.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
The Varieties of Reference.Louise M. Antony - 1987 - Philosophical Review 96 (2):275.
Knowledge and the flow of information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.
Two concepts of consciousness.David M. Rosenthal - 1986 - Philosophical Studies 49 (May):329-59.
Conscious experience.Fred Dretske - 1993 - Mind 102 (406):263-283.

View all 33 references / Add more references