About this topic
Summary Do perceptual experiences purport to tell us about our immediate environment?  If so, what form does the 'telling' take? Do experiences have accuracy conditions? If so, what is the relationship between those accuracy conditions and the conscious character of experience? What is the relationship between contents of experience and concepts? If perceptual experiences have contents, which contents can they have? What kinds of properties are we presented with in experience? Are contents object-involving, or can two experiences have the same contents, even if they are experiences of seeing different objects?
Key works Siegel 2005 provides an overview of issues concerning the contents of perception.  Christopher 1992 discuses basic issues concerning the role of concepts in experience contents.
Introductions Siegel 2005
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  1. Contents.H. G. Alexander Aphrodisiensis - 2008 - In Alexander Aphrodisiensis, "de Anima Libri Mantissa": A New Edition of the Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary. De Gruyter.
  2. Synesthesia.Sean Allen-Hermanson & Jennifer Matey - 2012 - In J. Feiser & B. Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This is an encyclopedia entry on Synesthesia. It provides a summary of our current knowledge about the condition and it reviews the philosophical implications that have been drawn from considerations about synesthesia. It's import for debates about consciousness, perception, modular theories of mind, creativity and aesthetics are discussed.
  3. Tense as a Feature of Perceptual Content.Jan Almäng - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (7):361-378.
    In recent years the idea that perceptual content is tensed in the sense that we can perceive objects as present or as past has come under attack. In this paper the notion of tensed content is to the contrary defended. The paper argues that assuming that something like an intentionalistic theory of perception is correct, it is very reasonable to suppose that perceptual content is tensed, and that a denial of this notion requires a denial of some intuitively very plausible (...)
  4. Two Kinds of Time-Consciousness and Three Kinds of Content.Jan Almäng - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (1):61-80.
    This paper explores the distinction between perceiving an object as extended in time, and experiencing a sequence of perceptions. I argue that this distinction cannot be adequately described by any present theory of time-consciousness and that in order to solve the puzzle, we need to consider perceptual content as having three distinct constituents: Explicit content, which has a particular phenomenal character, modal content, or the kind of content that is contributed by the psychological mode, and implicit content, which lacks phenomenal (...)
  5. The Contents of Visual Experience, by Susanna Siegel. Oxford: Oxford.Brenda Almond - 2012 - Mind 121:483.
  6. Vahid, Burge, and Perceptual Entitlement.Jon Altschul, Anthony Brueckner & Christopher Buford - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (3):325-330.
    Hamid Vahid criticizes Tyler Burge's account of perceptual entitlement. Vahid argues that Burge's account fails to satisfy a criterion of adequacy that any correct account of perceptual warrant must satisfy. According to Vahid, a correct account of perceptual warrant must allow for perceptual beliefs which are produced by a properly functioning perceptual system yet which lack warrant. The present article argues that Vahid's critique of Burge fails. It presents numerous examples of such beliefs that are consistent with Burge's account of (...)
  7. Structural Description and Qualitative Content in Perception Theory.Johannes Andres & Rainer Mausfeld - 2008 - Consciousness & Cognition 17 (1):307-311.
    The paper is a critical comment on D. Hoffman. The Scrambling Theorem: A simple proof of the logical possibility of spectrum inversion. Consciousness and Cognition, 2006, 15, 31–45.
  8. The Reappearing Act.István Aranyosi - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (1):1 - 10.
    In his latest book, Roy Sorensen offers a solution to a puzzle he put forward in an earlier article -The Disappearing Act. The puzzle involves various question about how the causal theory perception is to be applied to the case of seeing shadows. Sorensen argues that the puzzle should be taken as bringing out a new way of seeing shadows. I point out a problem for Sorensen’s solution, and offer and defend an alternative view, according to which the puzzle is (...)
  9. Contents.Yoav Ariel - 1989 - In K'ung-Ts'ung-Tzu: The K'ung Family Masters' Anthology. Princeton University Press.
  10. Reid, Hardness and Developmental Psychology.Adam Weiler Gur Arye - 2014 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12 (2):145-162.
    I suggest two main ways of interpreting Reid's analysis of the perception of the quality of hardness: Reid endorses two distinct concepts of hardness. The distinction between the two lies in a profoundly different relation between the sensation of hardness and the concept of hardness in each of them. The first concept, which I term as a “sensation-laden concept”, is “the quality that arises in us the sensation of hardness.” The second concept, which I call a “non-sensational concept”, is “the (...)
  11. Contents.Catalin Avramescu - 2011 - In An Intellectual History of Cannibalism. Princeton University Press.
  12. Contents.Étienne Balibar - 2009 - In We, the People of Europe?: Reflections on Transnational Citizenship. Princeton University Press.
  13. Contents.Yelena Baraz - 2012 - In A Written Republic: Cicero's Philosophical Politics. Princeton University Press.
  14. Contents.Leora Batnitzky - 2009 - In Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered. Princeton University Press.
  15. A Representational Account of Olfactory Experience.Clare Batty - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):511-538.
    Much of the philosophical work on perception has focused on vision, with very little discussion of the chemical senses—olfaction and gustation. In this paper, I consider the challenge that olfactory experience presents to upholding a representational view of the sense modalities. Given the phenomenology of olfactory experience, it is difficult to see what a representational view of it would be like. Olfaction, then, presents an important challenge for representational theories to overcome. In this paper, I take on this challenge and (...)
  16. What the Nose Doesn't Know: Non-Veridicality and Olfactory Experience.Clare Batty - 2010 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 17 (3-4):10-17.
    We can learn much about perceptual experience by thinking about how it can mislead us. In this paper, I explore whether, and how, olfactory experience can mislead. I argue that, in the case of olfactory experience, the traditional distinction between illusion and hallucination does not apply. Integral to the traditional distinction is a notion of ‘object-failure’—the failure of an experience to present objects accurately. I argue that there are no such presented objects in olfactory experience. As a result, olfactory experience (...)
  17. Contents.Eric Beerbohm - 2012 - In In Our Name: The Ethics of Democracy. Princeton University Press.
  18. Continuity and the Logic of Perception.John L. Bell - 2000 - Transcendent Philosophy 1 (2):1-7.
    If we imagine a chess-board with alternate blue and red squares, then this is something in which the individual red and blue areas allow themselves to be distinguished from each other in juxtaposition, and something similar holds also if we imagine each of the squares divided into four smaller squares also alternating between these two colours. If, however, we were to continue with such divisions until we had exceeded the boundary of noticeability for the individual small squares which result, then (...)
  19. Contents.Erica Benner - 2009 - In Machiavelli's Ethics. Princeton University Press.
  20. How the World Is Measured Up in Size Experience.David J. Bennett - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):345-365.
    I develop a Russellian representationalist account of size experience that draws importantly from contemporary vision science research on size perception. The core view is that size is experienced in ‘body-scaled’ units. So, an object might, say, be experienced as two eye-level units high. The view is sharpened in response to Thompson’s (forthcoming) Doubled Earth example. This example is presented by Thompson as part of an argument for a Fregean view of size experience. But I argue that the Russellian view I (...)
  21. Contents.Jonathan Porter Berkey - 1992 - In The Transmission of Knowledge in Medieval Cairo: A Social History of Islamic Education. Princeton University Press.
  22. Contents.Richard J. Bernstein - 1972 - In Praxis and Action: Contemporary Philosophies of Human Activity. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  23. Contents.Peter Anthony Bertocci - 1938 - In The Empirical Argument for God in Late British Thought. Harvard University Press. pp. xiii-2.
  24. On McDowell on the Content of Perceptual Experience.Akeel Bilgrami - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (175):206-13.
  25. Aristotle on Illusory Perception: Phantasia Without Phantasmata.Noell Birondo - 2001 - Ancient Philosophy 21 (1):57-71.
    In De Anima III.3 Aristotle presents his official discussion of phantasia (“imagination” in most translations). At the very outset of the discussion Aristotle offers as an endoxon that “phantasia is that in virtue of which we say that a phantasma occurs to us” (428a1-2). Now a natural reading of this claim, taken up by many commentators, can pose a problem for Aristotle’s overall account of perception. Here I argue that, although it would be silly to deny that Aristotle considers phantasia (...)
  26. Contents.Aryeh Botwinick - 2010 - In Michael Oakeshott's Skepticism. Princeton University Press.
  27. First Page Preview.Katherine Brading & Elena Castellani - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (1).
  28. Against One Reason for Thinking That Visual Experiences Have Representational Content.Wylie Breckenridge - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):117–123.
  29. Contents.Patrick M. Brennan & John E. Coons - 1999 - In Patrick M. Brennan & John E. Coons (eds.), By Nature Equal: The Anatomy of a Western Insight. Princeton University Press.
  30. Contents.Corey Brettschneider - 2012 - In When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?: How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality. Princeton University Press.
  31. Perception and Content.Bill Brewer - 2006 - European Journal of Philosophy 14 (2):165-181.
    It is close to current orthodoxy that perceptual experience is to be characterized, at least in part, by its representational content, roughly, by the way it represents things as being in the world around the perceiver. Call this basic idea the content view.
  32. The Contents of the Receptacle.Sarah Broadie - 2003 - Modern Schoolman 80 (3):171-190.
  33. Contents.Claudia J. Brodsky - 1987 - In The Imposition of Form: Studies in Narrative Representation and Knowledge. Princeton University Press.
  34. Contents.Baruch A. Brody - 1980 - In Identity and Essence. Princeton University Press.
  35. Do 'Looks' Reports Reflect the Contents of Perception?Berit Brogaard - manuscript -
    Roderick Chisholm argued that ‘look’ can be used in three different ways: epistemically, comparatively and non-comparatively. Chisholm’s non-comparative sense of ‘look’ played an important role in Frank Jackson’s argument for the sense-datum theory. The question remains..
  36. The Phenomenal Use of 'Look'.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
    The article provides the state of the art on the debate about whether the logical form of ‘look’ statements commits us to any particular theory of perceptual experience. The debate began with Frank Jackson’s (1977) argument that ‘look’ statements commit us to a sense-datum theory of perception. Thinkers from different camps have since then offered various rejoinders to Jackson’s argument. Others have provided novel arguments from considerations of the semantics of ‘look’ to particular theories of perception. The article closes with (...)
  37. Does Perception Have Content?Berit Brogaard (ed.) - 2014 - Oup Usa.
    This volume of new essays brings together philosophers representing many different perspectives to address central questions in the philosophy of perception.
  38. What Do We Say When We Say How or What We Feel?Berit Brogaard - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12 (11).
    Discourse containing the verb ‘feel’, almost without exception, purports to describe inner experience. Though this much is evident, the question remains what exactly is conveyed when we talk about what and how we feel? Does discourse containing the word ‘feel’ actually succeed in describing the content and phenomenology of inner experience? If so, how does it reflect the phenomenology and content of the experience it describes? Here I offer a linguistic analysis of ‘feels’ reports and argue that a subset of (...)
  39. Centered Worlds and the Content of Perception: Short Version.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - In David Sosa (ed.), Philosophical Books (Analytic Philosophy).
    0. Relativistic Content In standard semantics, propositional content, whether it be the content of utterances or mental states, has a truth-value relative only to a possible world. For example, the content of my utterance of ‘Jim is sitting now’ is true just in case Jim is sitting at the time of utterance in the actual world, and the content of my belief that Alice will give a talk tomorrow is true just in case Alice will give a talk on the (...)
  40. Strong Representationalism and Centered Content.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (3):373 - 392.
    I argue that strong representationalism, the view that for a perceptual experience to have a certain phenomenal character just is for it to have a certain representational content (perhaps represented in the right sort of way), encounters two problems: the dual looks problem and the duplication problem. The dual looks problem is this: strong representationalism predicts that how things phenomenally look to the subject reflects the content of the experience. But some objects phenomenally look to both have and not have (...)
  41. Perceptual Content and Monadic Truth: On Cappelen and Hawthorne's Relativism and Monadic Truth.Berit Brogaard - 2009 - Philosophical Books 50 (4):213-226.
    I will begin with a brief presentation of C & H’s arguments against nonindexical contextualism, temporalism, and relativism. I will then offer a general argument against the monadic truth package. Finally, I will offer arguments in favor of nonindexical contextualism and temporalism.
  42. Contents.Janet Broughton - 2009 - In Descartes's Method of Doubt. Princeton University Press.
  43. The Content of Perception.Derek Brown - 2010 - Metascience 20 (1):165-168.
  44. Which Causes of an Experience Are Also Objects of the Experience?Tomasz Budek & Katalin Farkas - 2014 - In Berit Brogaard (ed.), Does Perception Have Content? Oxford University Press. pp. 351-370.
    It is part of the phenomenology of perceptual experiences that objects seem to be presented to us. The first guide to objects is their perceptual presence. Further reflection shows that we take the objects of our perceptual experiences to be among the causes of our experiences. However, not all causes of the experience are also objects of the experience. This raises the question indicated in the title of this paper. We argue that taking phenomenal presence as the guide to the (...)
  45. Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    Tyler Burge presents an original study of the most primitive ways in which individuals represent the physical world. By reflecting on the science of perception and related psychological and biological sciences, he gives an account of constitutive conditions for perceiving the physical world, and thus aims to locate origins of representational mind.
  46. Primitive Agency and Natural Norms.Tyler Burge - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):251-278.
  47. The Epistemic Significance of Experience.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):947-967.
    According to orthodoxy, perceptual beliefs are caused by perceptual experiences. The paper argues that this view makes it impossible to explain how experiences can be epistemically significant. A rival account, on which experiences in the “good case” are ways of knowing, is set out and defended.
  48. Experience and Content.Alex Byrne - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (236):429-451.
    The 'content view', in slogan form, is 'Perceptual experiences have representational content'. I explain why the content view should be reformulated to remove any reference to 'experiences'. I then argue, against Bill Brewer, Charles Travis and others, that the content view is true. One corollary of the discussion is that the content of perception is relatively thin (confined, in the visual case, to roughly the output of 'mid-level' vision). Finally, I argue (briefly) that the opponents of the content view are (...)
  49. Contents.John Francis Callahan - 1948 - In Four Views of Time in Ancient Philosophy. Harvard University Press. pp. xi-2.
  50. Stained Glass as a Model for Consciousness.Mihnea D. I. Capraru - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (1):90-103.
    Contemporary phenomenal externalists are motivated to a large extent by the transparency of experience and by the related doctrine of representationalism. On their own, however, transparency and representationalism do not suffice to establish externalism. Hence we should hesitate to dismiss phenomenal internalism, a view shared by many generations of competent philosophers. Rather, we should keep both our options open, internalism and externalism. It is hard, however, to see how to keep open the internalist option, for although transparency and representationalism have (...)
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