About this topic

Husserl’s first-personal view of perceptual experience furnishes a principled alternative to current mainstream views. On the Husserlian view, perceptual contents are fulfillment conditions, rather than accuracy conditions. We perceive objects in terms of possibilities of degrees and kinds of fulfillment, i.e., better and more complete givenness, as when I examine an object from different sides, to attain a more complete overview. The idea of fulfillment also yields a non-inferential conception of how perceptual experiences justify beliefs or judgments: if I believe that there is a blackbird in the tree and then see that there is one, the two acts enter into a synthesis of fulfillment, providing justification for the belief. Lastly, the focus on fulfillments brings center-stage perceivers' embodiment, with the body’s kinaesthetic systems taking on a constitutive role in visual and other perceptual experiences.

Key works Parts of the classic Tugendhat 1967 discuss perceptual experiences in relation to the topics of fulfillment and truth. Mensch 1981, taking Husserl’s rejection of psychologism as starting point, explores the relations perceptual experiences bear to the world and to the cognitive states (or “acts”) they justify, in the Logical Investigations and Ideas I. Melle 1983 argues that Husserl, unlike Gurwitsch and Merleau-Ponty, has a “meaning-theoretic” and “intellectualist” conception of the perceptual noema. Miller 1984 discusses Husserl's views of perceptual experiences, including the perception of time, from the point of view of the so-called West Coast interpretation, incorporating Fregean motifs. Mulligan 1995 compares Husserl’s views of perceptual experiences with those of the Gestalt psychologists, and examines Husserl's uses of the notion of “apprehension,” regarding perceptual experiences. Hopp 2011 draws upon Husserl’s views of perception and fulfillment to contribute to current debates on perceptual justification, viewing fulfillment as a kind of non-inferential perceptual justification, and taking perceptual contents as non-conceptual. Another recent contribution is Borsato 2009, considering inner and outer perception vis-à-vis imagination, and examining the relations between Brentano’s and Husserl’s views. Bernet 1978
Introductions Bernet et al 1993, Ch. 4, David 2006, Ch. 6
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  1. Bodies and Sensings: On the Uses of Husserlian Phenomenology for Feminist Theory.Alia Al-Saji - 2010 - Continental Philosophy Review 43 (1):13-37.
    What does Husserlian phenomenology have to offer feminist theory? More specifically, can we find resources within Husserl’s account of the living body ( Leib ) for the critical feminist project of rethinking embodiment beyond the dichotomies not only of mind/body but also of subject/object and activity/passivity? This essay begins by explicating the reasons for feminist hesitation with respect to Husserlian phenomenology. I then explore the resources that Husserl’s phenomenology of touch and his account of sensings hold for feminist theory. My (...)
  2. Perceptual Transparency and Perceptual Constancy.Jan Almäng - 2014 - Husserl Studies 30 (1):1-19.
    A central topic in discussions about qualia concerns their purported transparency. According to transparency theorists, an experience is transparent in the sense that the subject having the experience is aware of nothing but the intended object of the experience. In this paper this notion is criticized for failing to account for the dynamical aspects of perception. A key assumption in the paper is that perceptual content has a certain temporal depth, in the sense that each act of perception can present (...)
  3. From Husserl to Merleau-Ponty: On the Metamorphosis of a Philosophical Example.Meirav Almog - 2016 - The European Legacy 21 (6):525-534.
    This essay outlines the transformation of the ostensibly mundane example of two hands touching each other in Husserl’s Ideas II into the pivotal concept in Merleau-Ponty’s ontology of flesh and notion of embodied subjectivity. By focusing on the contexts in which the example appears in the works of Husserl and of Merleau-Ponty, it seeks to explicate Merleau-Ponty’s fascination with Husserl’s example, its role in the development of his own thought and in the conceptual shift in his late works on the (...)
  4. Il Problema Dell'infinito Nell'orizzonte Fenomenologico Husserliano.Andrea Altobrando - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Padua
    The aim of this work is to elucidate the meaning of 'infinity' from a phenomenological perspective, especially within the framework of Husserl’s theory of knowledge and perception. In the first chapter I firstly sketch the basics of Husserl’s phenomenology of knowledge. Thereafter I delve into the questions concerning the reduction to the 'reellen Bestand', which is hold to be the ground of verification of purports in the "Logical Investigations". I then propose an interpretation of the categorial intuition as directed to (...)
  5. Izchak Miller: Husserl, Perception, and Temporal Awareness. [REVIEW]Karl Ameriks - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (3):414.
  6. Strukturanalytische Probleme der Wahrnehmung in der Phänomenologie Husserls.Hermann Ulrich Asemissen - 1957 - Kölner Universitäts-Verlag.
  7. Life and Perceptual Intentionality.Renaud Barbaras - 2003 - Research in Phenomenology 33 (1):157-166.
    Husserl is the first philosopher who has managed to account for the specificity of perception, characterized as givenness by sketches (Abschattungen); but neither Husserl nor Merleau-Ponty have given a satisfying definition of the subject of perception. This article tries to show that the subject of perception must be conceived as living being and that, therefore, the phenomenology of perception must lead to a phenomenology of life. Here, life is approached from an existential point of view, that is to say, as (...)
  8. Le Désir Et la Distance: Introduction À Une Phénoménologie de la Perception.Renaud Barbaras - 1999 - Vrin.
    Bien que la perception soit ce qui nous initie originairement à l’Être sous la forme d’un “il y a” primordial, la tradition en a le plus souvent manqué la spécificité. Il est donc nécessaire de repenser la singularité de l’événement perceptif, reconnue pour la première fois par Husserl sous le titre de “donation par esquisses”, au lieu de la soumettre à la loi de l’objet. Une telle exigence requiert une réduction radicale, qui ne va pas de la suspension de l’existence (...)
  9. Holism and Horizon: Husserl and McDowell on Non-Conceptual Content.Michael D. Barber - 2008 - Husserl Studies 24 (2):79-97.
    John McDowell rejects the idea that non-conceptual content can rationally justify empirical claims—a task for which it is ill-fitted by its non-conceptual nature. This paper considers three possible objections to his views: he cannot distinguish empty conception from the perceptual experience of an object; perceptual discrimination outstrips the capacity of concepts to keep pace; and experience of the empirical world is more extensive than the conceptual focusing within it. While endorsing McDowell’s rejection of what he means by non-conceptual content, and (...)
  10. Indexikalität, Wahrnehmung und Bedeutung bei Husserl.Wolfgang Becker - 1990 - Conceptus: Zeitschrift Fur Philosophie 24 (61):51-71.
  11. Percepción externa y "teoría de las imágenes".Pilar Beites - 2001 - Pensamiento 57 (219):393-412.
    Aunque en la vida cotidiana es claro que percibir no es imaginar, la diferencia entre percepción e imaginación resulta muy difícil de justificar teóricamente. Muchos autores caen en lo que Husserl denomina el error de la «teoría de las imágenes» y convierten la percepción en mera imaginación: Locke, Berkeley y Descartes sirven en este artículo como ejemplos de ello. Tras discutir brevemente sus tesis, se hace una crítica radical a la teoría de las imágenes a través de cuatro argumentos extraídos (...)
  12. Phenomenological and Aesthetic Epoche: Painting the Invisible Things Themselves.Rudolf Bernet - 2012 - In Dan Zahavi (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Phenomenology. Oxford University Press.
    Relying on Husserl as well as on the reflections by Merleau-Ponty on Cézanne, Henry on Kandinsky and Deleuze on Bacon, this essay sketches some basic problems that arise in a phenomenological account of non-figurative painting. An investigation of the distinction between phenomenological and pictorial perception, of the transposition of the painter’s mode of perception into a painted image, and of the expressive force of paintings inevitably confronts one with the enigma of the appearing of something invisible. The essay proceeds in (...)
  13. The Hermeneutics of Perception in Cassirer, Heidegger, and Husserl.Rudolf Bernet - 2009 - In Rudolf A. Makkreel & Sebastian Luft (eds.), Neo-Kantianism in Contemporary Philosophy. Indiana University Press.
  14. Endlichkeit und Unendlichkeit in Husserls Phänomenologie der Wahrnehmung.Rudolf Bernet - 1978 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 40 (1):251-269.
  15. Sur la distinction entre le vivre et le percevoir chez Husserl et l’idée de l’épochè phénoménologique.Philippe S. Blouin - 2014 - Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique 10:1-30.
    The present article has for main purpose to reassess the meaning and validity of Husserl’s distinction between living (erleben) and perceiving (wahrnehmen), in response especially to Claude Romano’s critique of the adumbration (Abschattung) theory of perception and of phenomenological idealism. To do so, we examine firstly the way in which Husserl develops this distinction in the Logical Investigations, and attempt to identify certain early motifs behind the transcendental turn. A comparison of the Husserlian conception of experience with William James’ descriptive (...)
  16. Les promesses de la perception. La synthèse passive chez Husserl à la lumière du projet de psychologie descriptive brentanienne.Federico Boccaccini - 2012 - Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique 8 (1):40-69.
    Le but du présent essai est de montrer la différence entre la phénoménologie descriptive et la phénoménologie transcendantale en ce qui concerne la per­ception et la constitution du sens objectif de l’expérience. La conception générale qui anime notre travail peut être caractérisée comme « néo-brenta­nienne ». -/- Nous ne visons pas à une exposition complète de la théorie de la synthèse passive telle qu’elle est développée principalement dans le volume XI des Husserliana1. Notre but n’est pas de faire un résumé (...)
  17. Das „Ding-an-sich” als Erkenntnisziel: Fragen zu Rudolf Bernets Aufsatz „Endlichkeit und Unendlichkeit in Husserls Phänomenologie der Wahrnehmung”.Rudolf Boehm - 1978 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 40 (4):659 - 661.
  18. Phénoménologie et méréologie de la perception spatiale, de Husserl aux théoriciens de la Gestalt.Luciano Boi - 2007 - In Luciano Boi, Pierre Kerszberg & Frédéric Patras (eds.), Rediscovering Phenomenology: Phenomenological Essays on Mathematical Beings, Physical Reality, Perception and Consciousness (Phaenomenologica) (English and French Edition). Springer. pp. 33-66.
  19. Questions Regarding Husserlian Geometry and Phenomenology. A Study of the Concept of Manifold and Spatial Perception.Luciano Boi - 2004 - Husserl Studies 20 (3):207-267.
  20. Über das Unbemerkbare in der Wahrnehmung. Eine phänomenologische Auseinandersetzung mit dem Standpunkt der analytischen Philosophie zum Thema ,Aufmerksamkeit'.Andrea Borsato - 2013 - Husserl Studies 29 (2):113-141.
    Was wir nicht bemerken können, das können wir auch nicht wahrnehmen: Diese im Rahmen der gegenwärtigen analytischen Philosophie des Geistes weitverbreitete Ansicht wurde neulich von M. Tye und A. Noë verteidigt. Wir werden uns hier mit einigen empirischen Beispielen auseinandersetzen, die u.E. mit dieser Idee kaum in Einklang zu bringen sind und stattdessen den Gedanken nahelegen, dass die Grenzen des Wahrnehmbaren über die Grenzen sowohl des primär Bemerkbaren als auch des sekundär Bemerkbaren hinausgehen. Auf diesem Weg gelangen wir dann zur (...)
  21. Symbolische Prägnanz und passive Synthesis. Genetische Phänomenologie der Wahrnehmung bei Cassirer und Husserl.M. Bosch - 2002 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 109:148-161.
  22. Husserl on Perception: A Nonrepresentationalism That Nearly Was.Matt Bower - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    There is a longstanding debate among Husserl scholars about whether Husserl thinks perception involves mental representation. The debate, I believe, has not been settled. I deny that the existentialist-inspired charge of representationalism about perception in Husserl is precise enough to stick. Given a clearer understanding of just what mental representation amounts to, I contend that those who defend Husserl against the accusation of representationalism fare little better than Husserl's existentialist-leaning critics. I argue that he is in fact a representationalist about (...)
  23. Affectively Driven Perception: Toward a Non-Representational Phenomenology.Matt Bower - 2014 - Husserl Studies 30 (3):225-245.
    While classical phenomenology, as represented by Edmund Husserl’s work, resists certain forms of representationalism about perception, I argue that in its theory of horizons, it posits representations in the sense of content-bearing vehicles. As part of a phenomenological theory, this means that on the Husserlian view such representations are part of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. I believe that, although the intuitions supporting this idea are correct, it is a mistake to maintain that there are such representations defining the (...)
  24. Husserl’s Theory of Instincts as a Theory of Affection.Matt Bower - 2014 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 45 (2):133-147.
    Husserl’s theory of passive experience first came to systematic and detailed expression in the lectures on passive synthesis from the early 1920s, where he discusses pure passivity under the rubric of affection and association. In this paper I suggest that this familiar theory of passive experience is a first approximation leaving important questions unanswered. Focusing primarily on affection, I will show that Husserl did not simply leave his theory untouched. In later manuscripts he significantly reworks the theory of affection in (...)
  25. L'expérience perceptive et son passif. À propos des sensations dans le constructivisme de Husserl.Robert Brisart - 2013 - Philosophie 119 (3):33.
    Quel rôle faut-il attribuer aux sensations, dans le cadre d’une philosophie pour laquelle les objets sont ontologiquement dépendants du pouvoir conceptuel ou sémantique de l’esprit? J’ai choisi de traiter ce problème à partir de la phénoménologie transcendantale de Husserl, car elle me semble assez bien cadrer avec la position philosophique constructiviste que j’envisage ici. Certains passages caractéristiques...
  26. Perception and Context: A Contextual Theory of Perception Based Upon Husserl's Theory of Horizons and James's Theory of Fringes.Christopher John Broniak - 1997 - Dissertation, Loyola University of Chicago
    Several classical philosophical theories of perception presuppose that the meaning of a perceptual object is solely its explicit cognitive content. By contrast, Edmund Husserl and William James offer unique frameworks for constructing a far more satisfactory account of perceptual meaning. Husserl provides a theory of perceptual horizons. His theory of horizonal consciousness grew in large measure from the intellectual promptings of William James. In his description of the stream of thought, James introduces the notion of fringes of objects of consciousness. (...)
  27. Mente Intenzionalitá Percezione in Edmund Husserl.Anselmo Caputo - 2001 - Bastogi.
  28. Il concetto di hyle nella fenomenologia della percezione di Husserl.Anselmo Caputo - 1999 - Idee 40:77-105.
  29. Touch and the Constitution of the Thing in Husserl’ s Vorlesungen of 1907.Maria Catena - 2005 - Archivio di Storia Della Cultura 18.
    This essay aims, first of all, at underlining the peculiar idea of perception that emerges from Husserl’s Ding und Raum. Vorlesungen 1907. In analysing the constitution of the Thing and the external perception, Husserl describes an activity which is, at the same time, legal and dependent from the data of reality. In so doing, he manages to avoid both the scepticism, which is ingrained in the idea of perception as simple and spontaneous opening to facts, and the idealism that, on (...)
  30. The Phenomenon of Ego-Splitting in Husserl’s Phenomenology of Pure Phantasy.Marco Cavallaro - 2017 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 48 (2):162-177.
    Husserl’s phenomenology of imagination embraces a cluster of different theories and approaches regarding the multi-faced phenomenon of imaginative experience. In this paper I consider one aspect that seems to be crucial to the understanding of a particular form of imagination that Husserl names pure phantasy. I argue that the phenomenon of Ego-splitting discloses the best way to elucidate the peculiarity of pure phantasy with respect to other forms of representative acts and to any simple form of act modification. First, I (...)
  31. Self and World - From Analytic Philosophy to Phenomenology.Carleton B. Christensen - 2008 - Walter de Gruyter.
    This book draws upon the phenomenological tradition of Husserl and Heidegger to provide an alternative elaboration of John McDowell’s thesis that in order to understand how self-conscious subjectivity relates to the world, perception must be understood as a genuine unity of spontaneity (‘concept’) and receptivity (‘intuition’). Thereby it clarifies McDowell’s critique of Donald Davidson and develops an alternative conception of perceptual experience which gives sense to McDowell’s claim that self-conscious subjectivity is so inherently in touch with its world that scepticism (...)
  32. Representation: Rorty Vs. Husserl.Suzanne Cunningham - 1986 - Synthese 66 (2):273 - 289.
    Richard Rorty in his recent book, Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, 1 offers a wide ranging critique of that version of modern philosophy which understands itself fundamentally as a theory of knowledge. He attacks analytic philosophy as well as phenomenology for falling into a sort of trap laid for us in the period of classical modern philosophy by most everyone from Descartes and Locke to Kant. I want to focus on just one element in Rorty's critique - namely, that (...)
  33. Perceptual Meaning and Husserl.Suzanne Cunningham - 1985 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (4):553-566.
  34. Miller, Izchak. 'Husserl, Perception and Temporal Awareness'. [REVIEW]Suzanne Cunningham - 1985 - Review of Metaphysics 38 (3):665-666.
  35. Die Welt und die Evidenz. Zu Husserls Erledigung des Cartesianismus.Vittorio De Palma - 2012 - Husserl Studies 28 (3):201-224.
    Der Aufsatz will nachweisen, dass Husserls Denken in der Tat eine Erledigung des Cartesianismus darstellt. Es wird gezeigt, dass Husserls Denken eine ganz andere Auffassung der Wahrnehmung und der Evidenz als Descartes zugrunde liegt. Denn – im Vorgriff auf eine Einsicht, die gegenwärtig in der analytischen Philosophie vertreten wird – meint Husserl, eine Wahrnehmung oder Evidenz könne nur aufgrund anderer Wahrnehmungen oder Evidenzen bezweifelt werden. Deshalb setzt jede solche Bezweifelung das Vertrauen in die Wahrnehmung oder Evidenz voraus und kann nicht (...)
  36. What Could Have Been Done (but Wasn’T). On the Counterfactual Status of Action in Alva Noë’s Theory of Perception.Gunnar Declerck - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-20.
    Alva Noë’s strategy to solve the puzzle of perceptual presence entirely relies on the principle of presence as access. Unaccessed or unattended parts or details of objects are perceptually present insofar as they are accessible, and they are accessible insofar as one possesses sensorimotor skills that can secure their access. In this paper, I consider several arguments that can be opposed to this claim and that are chiefly related to the modal status of action, i.e. the fact that the action (...)
  37. Incarnation, motricité et rapport au possible.Gunnar Declerck - 2012 - Studia Phaenomenologica 12:35-60.
    For Husserl, kinaesthetic capability is a key piece of the process of perception. By ensuring the junction between the actual and the potential, it allows the exhibition of an object that is always more than what appears. Kinaesthetic capability preserves the transcendence of the object by preventing the phenomenon from being confined to pure actuality. This idea, however, poses significant challenges when one questions the nature of the possibilities that are at stake here. Especially, the perceived seems to enjoy a (...)
  38. Intentionnalité cum fundamento in re : La constitution des champs sensoriels chez Stumpf et Husserl.Arnaud Dewalque - 2012 - Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique (1):70-96.
    J?aborderai ici le problème de la passivité de l?esprit dans le cadre d?une analyse de la perception sensible 1 . La question qui m?occupera sera la sui­vante : quel est le rôle des matériaux sensoriels ou des phénomènes sensibles dans la perception ? Plus exactement : quel sens faut-il donner ? s?il faut en donner un ? à la notion de « champs sensoriels » ( Sinnesfelder ) dans l?ana­lyse intentionnelle de la perception ? Je commencerai par rappeler que l?ap­proche (...)
  39. Phenomenon and Sensation: A Reflection on Husserl's Concept of Sinngebung.James Dodd - 1996 - Man and World 29 (4):419-439.
    Husserl's idea of a self-enclosed region of pure consciousness, a transcendental subjectivity that is at once absolute being and a sense-giving synthesis of experience, has enjoyed few, if any, enthusiastic defenders. In a recent book on Husserl, David Bell struggles in vain to find anything of worth in Husserl's "transcendental ontology. ''1 To be sure, Bell is reading Husserl with Fregean eyes; yet much dissatisfaction can be found among continental thinkers as well. Jacques Derrida, for example, argues that the self-presence (...)
  40. Husserl and McDowell on the Role of Concepts in Perception.Maxime Doyon - 2011 - New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 11:42-74.
    In his collection of essays Having the World in View (2009), John McDowell draws a distinction between empirical experience (conceived as the conceptual activity relevant to judgment) and empirical judgment (i.e., the full-fledged assertoric content itself ). McDowell’s latest proposal is that the form of empirical experience is transferable into judgment, but it is not itself a judgment. Taking back the view he advanced in Mind and World, McDowell now believes that perception does not have propositional content as such, but (...)
  41. The Primacy of Perception in Husserl's Theory of Imagining.Mark P. Drost - 1990 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (3):569-582.
  42. Objects' Optimal Appearances and the Immediate Awareness of Space in Vision.John J. Drummond - 1983 - Man and World 16 (3):177-206.
  43. On Seeing a Material Thing in Space: The Role of Kinaesthesis in Visual Perception.John J. Drummond - 1979 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 40 (1):19-32.
  44. On the Nature of Perceptual Appearances, or Is Husserl an Aristotelian?John J. Drummond - 1978 - New Scholasticism 52 (1):1-22.
  45. Presenting and Kinaesthetic Sensations in Husserl's Phenomenology of Perception.John Joseph Drummond - 1975 - Dissertation, Georgetown University
  46. « Mais l'éclair dans la nuit de tempête ? » Phénoménologie d'une limite de la perception.Paul Ducros - 2007 - Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique 3 (1):3-53.
    Cette étude prend sa source dans une note du § 30 de Chose et espace, dans laquelle Husserl, après avoir établi les fondements d'une phénoménologie de la perception, s'exclame: "Mais l'éclair dans la nuit de tempête?", comme pour signifier que la description habituelle des vécus de perception échoue à saisir l'essence d'un vécu tel que l'éclair dans la nuit de tempête. La postérité phénoménologique (Fink notamment) a souvent souligné de telles limites et en a pris prétexte pour légitimer son effort (...)
  47. La coloration selon Husserl.Paul Ducros - 2006 - Revue Philosophique De Louvain 104 (4):812-840.
  48. At the Same Time.Robin Durie - 2008 - Continental Philosophy Review 41 (1):73-88.
    The essay on Husserl’s phenomenology of touch in Derrida’s recent On Touching—Jean-Luc Nancy represents his only substantial re-engagement with Husserlian phenomenology to be published following the series of texts dating from the period marked by his Mémoire of 1955 through to the essay ‘Form and Meaning’ included in Margins (1972). The essay, devoted to some key sections of Husserl’s Ideas II, appears to break new ground in Derrida’s readings of Husserl, but in fact demonstrates a profound continuity with his earlier (...)
  49. Preconceptual Intelligibility in Perception.Daniel Dwyer - 2013 - Continental Philosophy Review 46 (4):533-553.
    This paper argues that John McDowell’s conceptualism distorts a genuine phenomenological account of perception. Instead of the seemingly forced choice between conceptualism and non-conceptualism as to what accounts for perceptual and discursive meaning, I provide an argument that there is a preconceptual intelligibility already in the perceptual field. With the help of insights from certain nonconceptualists I sketch out an argument that there is a teleological directedness in the way in which latent order and structure can be discriminated at the (...)
  50. The Partial Re-enchantment of Nature Through the Analysis of Perception.Daniel J. Dwyer - 2008 - Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique (6):1-12.
    Le réductionnisme scientiste a privé le monde de ce qui avait été un univers enchanté, empli des formes et des esprits qui hantaient le monde médiéval. Merleau-Ponty et Husserl dans son œuvre tardive tentent de réenchanter la nature, mais du point de vue de la perception. Leur insistance sur la structure et la forme perceptuelles est un moyen de protection contre le réductionnisme et donc, en un sens, réenchante le monde qui, pour parler comme Merleau-Ponty, est « con­damné au sens (...)
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