Experience, Seemings, and Evidence

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):510-534 (2015)
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Abstract

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 fine-grained. However, only the latter have furthermore a perceptual phenomenology characterized by objectification and related dualities of perspectivality/completion and variation/constancy. Second, I elaborate on the reasons for thinking that both mere sensations and perceptual experiences need to be distinguished from accompanying seemings that passively assign things into conceptual categories and thereby tell you something about them. For example, when you look at a red apple and have the relevant recognitional abilities it will also normally seem to you that this is an apple. Finally, I argue that the best version of the popular dogmatist view about evidence is one which claims that it's neither experiences nor seemings by themselves, but rather the right sorts of composites of experiences and seemings that provide evidence

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Author's Profile

Indrek Reiland
University of Vienna

References found in this work

The Varieties of Reference.Gareth Evans - 1982 - Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edited by John Henry McDowell.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2004 - MIT Press.
The Contents of Visual Experience.Susanna Siegel - 2010 - , US: Oxford University Press USA.

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