Ratio 27 (4):414-438 (2014)

Sebastian Watzl
University of Oslo
Proponents of an intentionalist theory of perceptual experience have taken for granted that perceptual experience is an informing form of intentionality. Hence they often speak of the way an experience represents the environment to be, or what there is. In this respect perceptual experience is thus assumed to resemble a speech act like assertion or a mental state like belief. There is another important form of intentionality though that concerns not what there is, but what to do. I call this a guiding form of intentionality. In speech, there are – for example – imperatives and among intentional mental states there are desires and intentions. In this paper I argue that perceptual experience is at least sometimes characterized by such a guiding form of intentionality. Perception does not just inform, it is sometimes intrinsically action-guiding. I call this the perceptual guidance claim. I distinguish the perceptual guidance claim from related, but importantly distinct claims , and argue that perceptual action guidance occurs not just in an unconscious vision-for-action system, but also within conscious perceptual experience
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DOI 10.1111/rati.12084
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