About this topic
Summary If you see a frog on the chair, you have a visual experience. But things from your perspective could seem exactly the same, even if you were hallucinating a frog on a chair. So if two experiences are typed the same according to how things are from your perspective, then there's a single type of experience that is instantiated in both cases. Since there is no frog in the hallucination case, it would seem that your experience does not constitutively involve the frog or your perceptual relation to the frog.  On the other hand, when you see the frog on the chair, your experience puts you in contact with the frog. It puts you in a position to succeed in making demonstrative reference to the frog (e.g., by saying something like "that is a frog"). So there is another useful way to type experiences that includes the frog and your perceptual relation to it.  How are these two ways of typing experiences related? If we focus on the phenomenal character of the experience, what is the relationship between the frog and the phenomenal aspects of the experience? What structures of experience best reflect these relationships? By virtue of what features of experience can they tell us about particular objects, as opposed to objects that are distinct but qualitatively identical to the ones we see?  Other issues about objects concern the status of objects as mind-independent. Are objects presented to us in experience as mind-independent, or is experience neutral on this question?
Key works Valberg 1992 sets out a puzzle about experience that highlights different roles for objects in experience. Strawson 1959 and Evans 1982 discuss singular reference in ways that lay the basis for subsequent work in the philosophy of perception on particularity in perception, such as  Martin 2002 and Burge 1991Schellenberg 2011 and Logue 2012 are contemporary discussions of the role of objects in experience. On mind-independence in perceptual experience, Hume 1739 argues that experiences neutral on mind-independence. Siegel 2006 argues that experiences present us with objects as mind-indendendent.
Introductions Valberg 1992
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  1. The Causal Self‐Referential Theory of Perception Revisited.Jan Almäng - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (1):29-53.
    This is a paper about The Causal Self-Referential Theory of Perception. According to The Causal Self-Referential Theory as developed by above all John Searle and David Woodruff Smith, perceptual content is satisfied by an object only if the object in question has caused the perceptual experience. I argue initially that Searle's account cannot explain the distinction between hallucination and illusion since it requires that the state of affairs that is presented in the perceptual experience must exist in order for the (...)
  2. The Contents of Visual Experience, by Susanna Siegel. Oxford: Oxford.Brenda Almond - 2012 - Mind 121:483.
  3. Searle Against the World : How Can Experiences Find Their Objects?Kent Bach - 2007 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), John Searle's Philosophy of Language: Force, Meaning, and Mind. Cambridge University Press.
    Here's an old question in the philosophy of perception: here I am, looking at this pen [I hold up a pen in my hand]. Presumably I really am seeing this pen. Even so, I could be having an experience just like the one I am having without anything being there. So how can the experience I am having really involve direct awareness of the pen? It seems as though the presence of the pen is inessential to the way the experience (...)
  4. Visual Riemannian Space Versus Cognitive Euclidean Space.Antonio M. Battro - 1977 - Synthese 35 (4):423 - 429.
  5. 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 (...)
  6. 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 (...)
  7. Object Lessons: Spelke Principles and Psychological Explanation.Sara Bernal - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (3):289-312.
    There is general agreement that from the first few months of life, our apprehension of physical objects accords, in some sense, with certain principles. In one philosopher's locution, we are 'perceptually sensitive' to physical principles describing the behavior of objects. But in what does this accordance or sensitivity consist? Are these principles explicitly represented or merely 'implemented'? And what sort of explanation do we accomplish in claiming that our object perception accords with these principles? My main goal here is to (...)
  8. The Foundations of Cognitive Science.Branquinho Joao (ed.) - 2001 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The Foundations of Cognitive Science is a set of thirteen new essays on key topics in this lively interdisciplinary field, by a stellar international line-up of authors. Philosophers, psychologists, and neurologists here come together to investigate such fascinating subjects as consciousness; vision; rationality; artificial life; the neural basis of language, cognition, and emotion; and the relations between mind and world, for instance our representation of numbers and space. The contributors are Ned Block, Margaret Boden, Susan Carey, Patricia Churchland, Paul Churchland, (...)
  9. Objectivity, Simulation and the Unity of Consciousness.Bill Brewer - 1994 - New York: Oxford University Press.
  10. Thoughts About Objects, Places and Times.Bill Brewer - 1994 - In Objectivity, Simulation and the Unity of Consciousness. New York: Oxford University Press.
  11. Depiction, Pictorial Experience, and Vision Science.Robert Briscoe - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):43-81.
    Pictures are 2D surfaces designed to elicit 3D-scene-representing experiences from their viewers. In this essay, I argue that philosophers have tended to underestimate the relevance of research in vision science to understanding the nature of pictorial experience. Both the deeply entrenched methodology of virtual psychophysics as well as empirical studies of pictorial space perception provide compelling support for the view that pictorial experience and seeing face-to-face are experiences of the same psychological, explanatory kind. I also show that an empirically informed (...)
  12. Mental Imagery and the Varieties of Amodal Perception.Robert Briscoe - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (2):153-173.
    The problem of amodal perception is the problem of how we represent features of perceived objects that are occluded or otherwise hidden from us. Bence Nanay (2010) has recently proposed that we amodally perceive an object's occluded features by imaginatively projecting them into the relevant regions of visual egocentric space. In this paper, I argue that amodal perception is not a single, unitary capacity. Drawing appropriate distinctions reveals amodal perception to be characterized not only by mental imagery, as Nanay suggests, (...)
  13. Does Visual Reference Depend on Sortal Classification? Reply to Clark.John Campbell - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 127 (2):221-237.
  14. Kind Properties and the Metaphysics of Perception: Towards Impure Relationalism.Dan Cavedon‐Taylor - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):487-509.
    A central debate in contemporary philosophy of perception is between those who hold that perception is a detection relation of sensory awareness and those who hold that it is representational state akin to belief. Another key debate is between those who claim that we can perceive natural or artifactual kind properties, e.g. ‘being a tomato’, ‘being a doorknob’, etc. and those who hold we cannot. The current consensus is that these debates are entirely unrelated. I argue that this consensus is (...)
  15. Feature-Placing and Proto-Objects.Austen Clark - 2004 - Philosophical Psychology 17 (4):443-469.
    This paper contrasts three different schemes of reference relevant to understanding systems of perceptual representation: a location-based system dubbed "feature-placing", a system of "visual indices" referring to things called "proto-objects", and the full sortal-based individuation allowed by a natural language. The first three sections summarize some of the key arguments (in Clark, 2000) to the effect that the early, parallel, and pre-attentive registration of sensory features itself constitutes a simple system of nonconceptual mental representation. In particular, feature integration--perceiving something as (...)
  16. Objects, Places, and Perception.Jonathan Cohen - 2004 - Philosophical Psychology 17 (4):471-495.
    In Clark (2000), Austen Clark argues convincingly that a widespread view of perception as a complicated kind of feature-extraction is incomplete. He argues that perception has another crucial representational ingredient: it must also involve the representation of "sensory individuals" that exemplify sensorily extracted features. Moreover, he contends, the best way of understanding sensory individuals takes them to be places in space surrounding the perceiver. In this paper, I'll agree with Clark's case for sensory individuals (.
  17. Phenomenology and Epistemology of Consciousness of Objects.Karl Duncker - 2003 - International Gestalt Journal 26 (1):79-128.
  18. Illusions of Optimal Motion, Relationism, and Perceptual Content.Santiago Echeverri - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Austere relationism rejects the orthodox analysis of hallucinations and illusions as incorrect perceptual representations. In this article, I argue that illusions of optimal motion present a serious challenge for this view. First, I submit that austere-relationist accounts of misleading experiences cannot be adapted to account for IOMs. Second, I show that any attempt at elucidating IOMs within an austere-relationist framework undermines the claim that perceptual experiences fundamentally involve relations to mind-independent objects. Third, I develop a representationalist model of IOMs. The (...)
  19. Visual Reference and Iconic Content.Santiago Echeverri - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):761-781.
    Evidence from cognitive science supports the claim that humans and other animals see the world as divided into objects. Although this claim is widely accepted, it remains unclear whether the mechanisms of visual reference have representational content or are directly instantiated in the functional architecture. I put forward a version of the former approach that construes object files as icons for objects. This view is consistent with the evidence that motivates the architectural account, can respond to the key arguments against (...)
  20. Philosophical Subjects.Gareth Evans - 1980 - Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  21. Things Without the Mind–A Commentary Upon Chapter Two of Strawson's Individuals'.Gareth Evans - 1980 - In Z. Van Straaten (ed.), Philosophical Subjects. Oxford University Press.
  22. La Filosof.Jos Falguera (ed.) - 1999 - Santiago de Compostela: S.I.E.U..
  23. Seeing Absence.Anna Farennikova - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (3):429-454.
    Intuitively, we often see absences. For example, if someone steals your laptop at a café, you may see its absence from your table. However, absence perception presents a paradox. On prevailing models of perception, we see only present objects and scenes (Marr, Gibson, Dretske). So, we cannot literally see something that is not present. This suggests that we never literally perceive absences; instead, we come to believe that something is absent cognitively on the basis of what we perceive. But this (...)
  24. Sensory Representation and Cognitive Architecture: An Alternative to Phenomenal Concepts.Peter Fazekas & Zoltán Jakab - manuscript
    We present a cognitive-physicalist account of phenomenal consciousness. We argue that phenomenal concepts do not differ from other types of concepts. When explaining the peculiarities of conscious experience, the right place to look at is sensory/ perceptual representations and their interaction with general conceptual structures. We utilize Jerry Fodor’s psycho- semantic theory to formulate our view. We compare and contrast our view with that of Murat Aydede and Güven Güzeldere, who, using Dretskean psychosemantic theory, arrived at a solution different from (...)
  25. Particularity and Reflexivity in the Intentional Content of Perception. Fern - 2006 - Theoria 21 (56):133-145.
  26. Perceptual Consciousness and the Reflexive Character of Attention. Fern - 1999 - In Jos Falguera (ed.), La Filosof. Santiago de Compostela: S.I.E.U..
  27. The Fact of the Given From a Realist Idealist Perspective.Gregor Flock - 2017 - In Christoph Limbeck-Lilienau & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), The Philosophy of Perception and Observation. Contributions of the 40th International Wittgenstein Symposium August 6-12, 2017 Kirchberg am Wechsel. Kirchberg am Wechsel, Austria: Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society. pp. 56-58.
    In his well-known Mind and World and in line with Wilfrid Sellars (1991) or “that great foe of ‘immediacy’” (ibid., 127) Hegel, McDowell claims that “when Evans argues that judgments of experience are based on non-conceptual content, he is falling into a version of the Myth of the Given” (1996, 114). In this talk and on the basis of a Berkeleyio-Kantian ‘realist idealist’ world view (sect. 1) and an explication of Kant’s concept of the “given manifold” (CPR, e.g. B138; sect. (...)
  28. Perceiving Bodies Immediately: Thomas Reid's Insight.Marina Folescu - 2015 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 32 (1):19-36.
    In An Inquiry into the Human Mind and in Essays on Intellectual Powers, Thomas Reid discusses what kinds of things perceivers are related to in perception. Are these things qualities of bodies, the bodies themselves, or both? This question places him in a long tradition of philosophers concerned with understanding how human perception works in connecting us with the external world. It is still an open question in the philosophy of perception whether the human perceptual system is providing us with (...)
  29. The Geometry of Visual Space.Robert French - 1987 - Noûs 21 (June):115-133.
  30. Identifying, Discriminating or Picking Out an Object: Some Distinctions Neglected in the Strawsonian Tradition.Martin F. Fricke - 2004 - Contributions of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society 12:106-107.
    In "Individuals", Peter Strawson talks about identifying, discriminating and picking out particular objects, regarding discriminating and picking out as ways of identifying. I object that, strictly speaking, identification means to say of two things that they are the same. In contrast, discriminating an object from all others can be done by just ascribing some predicate to it that does not apply to the others. Picking out an object does not even seem to require to distinguish it from all others. The (...)
  31. Moods Are Not Colored Lenses: Perceptualism and the Phenomenology of Moods.Francisco Gallegos - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-17.
    Being in a mood—such as an anxious, irritable, depressed, tranquil, or cheerful mood—tends to alter the way we react emotionally to the particular objects we encounter. But how, exactly, do moods alter the way we experience particular objects? Perceptualism, a popular approach to understanding affective experiences, holds that moods function like "colored lenses," altering the way we perceive the evaluative properties of the objects we encounter. In this essay, I offer a phenomenological analysis of the experience of being in a (...)
  32. Visual Content, Expectations, and the Outside World.Dominic Gregory - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (2pt2):109-130.
    Some philosophers—for example, Husserl, Alva Noë and Susanna Siegel—have claimed that the contents of visual sensations standardly include references to the later visual episodes that one would have under certain conditions. The current paper claims that there are no good reasons for accepting that view. Instead, it is argued that the conscious phenomena which have been cited as manifesting the presence within visual contents of references to ways that things would look in the course of later visual sensations are better (...)
  33. Perception and Identification, Part I.Stuart N. Hampshire - 1961 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 81:81-96.
  34. Perception and Identification.J. Michael Hinton - 1967 - Philosophical Review 76 (October):421-435.
  35. Seeing Things.Ted Honderich - 1994 - Synthese 98 (1):51-71.
  36. Being and Time, §15: Around-for References and the Content of Mundane Concern.Howard Damian Kelly - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Manchester
    This thesis articulates a novel interpretation of Heidegger’s explication of the being (Seins) of gear (Zeugs) in §15 of his masterwork Being and Time (1927/2006) and develops and applies the position attributed to Heidegger to explain three phenomena of unreflective action discussed in recent literature and articulate a partial Heideggerian ecological metaphysics. Since §15 of BT explicates the being of gear, Part 1 expounds Heidegger’s concept of the ‘being’ (Seins) of beings (Seienden) and two issues raised in the ‘preliminary methodological (...)
  37. Perceptual Normativity and Human Freedom.Sean Dorrance Kelly - manuscript
  38. What is What It's Like? Introducing Perceptual Modes of Presentation.John Kulvicki - 2007 - Synthese 156 (2):205-229.
    The central claim of this paper is that what it is like to see green or any other perceptible property is just the perceptual mode of presentation of that property. Perceptual modes of presentation are important because they help resolve a tension in current work on consciousness. Philosophers are pulled by three mutually inconsistent theses: representational externalism, representationalism, and phenomenal internalism. I throw my hat in with defenders of the first two: the externalist representationalists. We are faced with the problem (...)
  39. The Intentional and the Real Object.Guido Kung - 1984 - Dialectica 38 (2‐3):143-156.
    SummaryStarting from examples of genuine perception and naive hallucination, different theories concerning the relation between the intentional and the real object are being discussed. It is shown that Meinong's theory is the most natural one, but it is argued against Meinong that the notion of “converse intentional property” should play a greater role.
  40. Look-Blindness.Jason Leddington - 2012 - Analysis 72 (2):244-251.
    In Consciousness Revisited: Materialism without Phenomenal Concepts 2009, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, Michael Tye claims that seeing can occur independently of seeing-that. Call this The Independence Claim (TIC). Tye supports this ‘general point’ by appeal to cases of ‘ubiquitous error’ (2009: 95). In this article, I show that this strategy fails: it is guilty of a certain blindness to how things look.
  41. Clades, Capgras, and Perceptual Kinds.Jack C. Lyons - 2005 - Philosophical Topics 33 (1):185-206.
    I defend a moderate (neither extremely conservative nor extremely liberal) view about the contents of perception. I develop an account of perceptual kinds as perceptual similarity classes, which are convex regions in similarity space. Different perceivers will enjoy different perceptual kinds. I argue that for any property P, a perceptual state of O can represent something as P only if P is coextensive with some perceptual kind for O. 'Dog' and 'chair' will be perceptual kinds for most normal people, 'blackpool (...)
  42. Perceptual Presence Without Counterfactual Richness.Michael Madary - 2014 - Cognitive Neuroscience 5:131-133.
    In this commentary, I suggest that non-visual perceptual modalities provide counterexamples to Seth’s claim that perceptual presence depends on counterfactual richness. Then I suggest a modification to Seth’s view that is not vulnerable to these counterexamples.
  43. Particular Thoughts & Singular Thought.Michael Martin - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 51:173-214.
    A long-standing theme in discussion of perception and thought has been that our primary cognitive contact with individual objects and events in the world derives from our perceptual contact with them. When I look at a duck in front of me, I am not merely presented with the fact that there is at least one duck in the area, rather I seem to be presented with this thing in front of me, which looks to me to be a duck. Furthermore, (...)
  44. Résistance Et Existence [Resistence and Existence].Olivier Massin - 2011 - Etudes de Philosophie 9:275- 310.
    I defend the view that the experience of resistance gives us a direct phenomenal access to the mind-independence of perceptual objects. In the first part, I address a humean objection against the very possibility of experiencing existential mind-independence. The possibility of an experience of mind-independence being secured, I argue in the second part that the experience of resistance is the only kind of experience by which we directly access existential mind-independence.
  45. Visual Ephemera and the Causal Theory of Perception.Mohan Matthen - manuscript
    H.P. Grice’s Causal Theory of Perception was advanced as a place-holder, advanced in order to discuss the differing roles of semantics and pragmatics of ‘looks as if’ locutions. However, it became very influential in the theory of perception, where it has typically been treated as a completely articulated analysis of direct-object uses of ‘see.’ In this paper, I examine several counter-intuitive (and somewhat sensational) applications of the Causal Theory and show how they depend on such an understanding. I propose that (...)
  46. Image Content.Mohan Matthen - 2014 - In Berit Brogaard (ed.), Does Perception Have Content? Oxford University Press. pp. 265-290.
    The senses present their content in the form of images, three-dimensional arrays of located sense features. Peacocke’s “scenario content” is one attempt to capture image content; here, a richer notion is presented, sensory images include located objects and features predicated of them. It is argued that our grasp of the meaning of these images implies that they have propositional content. Two problems concerning image content are explored. The first is that even on an enriched conception, image content has certain expressive (...)
  47. Visual Demonstratives.Mohan Matthen - 2012 - In Athanasios Raftopoulos & Peter Machamer (eds.), Perception, Realism, and The Problem of Reference. Cambridge University Press.
    When I act on something, three kinds of idea (or representation) come into play. First, I have a non-visual representation of my goals. Second, I have a visual description of the kind of thing that I must act upon in order to satisfy my goals. Finally, I have an egocentric position locator that enables my body to interact with the object. It is argued here that these ideas are distinct. It is also argued that the egocentric position locator functions in (...)
  48. On the Diversity of Auditory Objects.Mohan Matthen - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (1):63-89.
    This paper defends two theses about sensory objects. The more general thesis is that directly sensed objects are those delivered by sub-personal processes. It is shown how this thesis runs counter to perceptual atomism, the view that wholes are always sensed indirectly, through their parts. The more specific thesis is that while the direct objects of audition are all composed of sounds, these direct objects are not all sounds—here, a composite auditory object is a temporal sequence of sounds (whereas a (...)
  49. How Things Look (And What Things Look That Way).Mohan Matthen - 2010 - In Bence Nanay (ed.), Perceiving the World. Oxford University Press. pp. 226.
    What colour does a white wall look in the pinkish light of the late afternoon? Philosophers disagree: they hold variously that it looks pink, white, both, and no colour at all. A new approach is offered. After reviewing the dispute, a reinterpretation of perceptual constancy is offered. In accordance with this reinterpretation, it is argued that perceptual features such as color must always be predicated of perceptual objects. Thus, it might be that in pinkish light, the wall looks white and (...)
  50. On Visual Experience of Objects: Comments on John Campbell's Reference and Consciousness.Mohan P. Matthen - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 127 (2):195-220.
    John Campbell argues that visual attention to objects is the means by which we can refer to objects, and that this is so because conscious visual attention enables us to retrieve information about a location. It is argued here that while Campbell is right to think that we visually attend to objects, he does not give us sufficient ground for thinking that consciousness is involved, and is wrong to assign an intermediary role to location. Campbell’s view on sortals is also (...)
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