Sight and the body

In Frédérique de Vignemont & Adrian Alsmith (eds.), The Subject's Matter. MIT Press (2017)
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When I see some object, it visually seems as if the location of that object is distinct from the location from which it is perceived. For example, if I hold out my pencil in front of me, it visually seems to be at some location there, but I seem to it see it from some other location here. The place from which one perceives is, of course, occupied by one's body, and in this chapter I consider whether, in order to capture sight's spatial perspectival character, we need to accept that in normal visual experience, one’s body is always perceptually represented, even though it is typically outside of the visual field (call this the ‘visual bodily awareness claim’, or VBA). I argue that we don’t need to accept VBA, and in particular, that a promising-seeming argument for the claim that we do, fails. Instead, I suggest, aspects of phenomenal character that might lead us to accept VBA can be explained by appeal to structural features of visual experience.



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Louise Richardson
University of York

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