I use an old challenge to motivate a new view. The old challenge is due to variation in our perceptions of secondary qualities. The challenge is to say whose perceptions are accurate. The new view is about how we manage to perceive secondary qualities, and thus manage to perceive them accurately or inaccurately. I call it perceptual structuralism. I first introduce the challenge and point out drawbacks with traditional responses. I spend the rest of the paper motivating and defending a (...) structuralist response. While I focus on color, both the challenge and the view generalize to the other secondary qualities. (shrink)
I defend a solution to a long-standing problem with perceptual appearances, brought about by the phenomenon of perceptual constancy. The problem is that in conditions which are non-ideal, yet within the range that perceptual constancy works, we see things veridically despite an “appearance” which is traditionally taken to be non-veridical. For example, a tilted coin is often taken to have an “elliptical appearance”, shadowed surfaces a “darker appearance”. These appearances are puzzling for a number of reasons. I defend and elaborate (...) on an approach taken by Sean Kelly, and earlier by the art historian E.H. Gombrich, according to which we can be tricked by our ability to bring about a kind of Gesltalt shift between different possible perceptual interpretations of a scene. (shrink)
Intrapersonal variation due to color contrast effects has been used to argue against the following intuitive propositions about the colors: No object can be more than one determinable or determinate color of the same grade all over at the same time ; external objects are actually colored ; and the colors of objects are mind-independent. In this article, I provide a defense of Incompatibility, Realism, and Objectivism from intrapersonal variation arguments that rely on color contrast effects. I provide a novel, (...) ecumenical response to such arguments according to which typical variants are right, and which respects Incompatibility, Realism, and Objectivism, using the thesis that the colors of objects depend on the colors of objects in their surrounds. (shrink)
Using the results of the latest neurophysiological research on colour, the article rejects outright physicalism and dispositionalism as appropriate approaches to solving the problem of colour realism. Physicalism sees colour as a real property of objects, i.e. the reflectance profile, while dispositionalism takes subjects, objects and light as necessary elements for colour production. First, it briefly outlines the historical development of the theory of colour, pointing towards dispositionalism which, in some sense, considers colour as a real entity of the world, (...) and then introduces the problem of colour realism, focusing on objections to physicalism as well as dispositionalism. After delineating the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the visual experience of colour, and with the help of the concrete results of practical neurophysiological experiments, the article points to why the physicalist and any dispositionalist theories of colour in the light of a new physiological objection do not present credible views on the nature of colour. (shrink)
The question of how we actually arrive at our knowledge of others’ mental lives is lively debated, and some philosophers defend the idea that mentality is sometimes accessible to perception. In this paper, a distinction is introduced between “mind awareness” and “mental state awareness,” and it is argued that the former at least sometimes belongs to perceptual, rather than cognitive, processing.
This paper develops a view of the content of perceptual states that reflects the cognitive significance those states have for the subject. Perhaps the most important datum for such a theory is the intuition that experiences are ‘transparent’, an intuition promoted by philosophers as diverse as Sartre and Dretske. This paper distinguishes several different transparency theses, and considers which ones are truly supported by the phenomenological data. It is argued that the only thesis supported by the data is much weaker (...) than those typically considered in the literature, and has no obvious implications for the existence of sensory intermediaries. It does, however, have implications for the content of perceptual experience. It is argued that combining the first personal project with the transparency intuition yields an error theory of perception. The counterintuitive implications of this error theory are mitigated, however, by an account of perceptual beliefs which allows for them to be true even if the perceptual states are non-veridical. (shrink)
According to Perceptual Fundamentalism we can have justified perceptual beliefs solely in virtue of having perceptual experiences with corresponding contents. Recently, it has been argued that Perceptual Fundamentalism entails that it is possible to gain an a priori justified belief that perception is reliable by engaging in a suppositional reasoning process of a priori bootstrapping. But I will show that Perceptual Fundamentalists are not committed to a priori bootstrapping being a rational reasoning process. On the most plausible versions of Perceptual (...) Fundamentalism, a priori bootstrapping cannot be used to rationally support anti-sceptical beliefs about the reliability of perception. Moreover, seeing why Perceptual Fundamentalists are not committed to a priori bootstrapping will help us to better understand the nature of the perceptual entitlements that Perceptual Fundamentalists posit, or at least should posit. (shrink)
We tend to think that our concepts are stable in the sense that, whilst their extensions may vary across distinct epistemic scenarios, the reference-fixing conditions by which we discover these extensions remain fixed. This paper challenges this orthodoxy. In particular, it aims to motivate the position that some concepts are unstable in that their reference-fixing conditions themselves vary across distinct epistemic scenarios. Furthermore, it aims to draw out the implications such instability has for epistemic possibility and apriority. I shall argue (...) that when unstable concepts are concerned epistemic space will be widened, which in turn will restrict our a priori knowledge; and in ways that might be salient to solving certain familiar philosophical problems. (shrink)
Color relationalism holds that the colors are constituted by relations to subjects. The introspective rejoinder against this view claims that it is opposed to our phenomenally-informed, pre-theoretic intuitions. The rejoinder seems to be correct about how colors appear when looking at how participants respond to an item about the metaphysical nature of color but not when looking at an item about the ascription of colors. The present article expands the properties investigated to sound and taste and inspects the mentioned asymmetry, (...) with a particular focus on the principle of charity. Using a metaphysical item, we find that color and sound are no different from shape, our control for a clearly anti-relational property. Taste, on the other hand, is no different from likability, our control for a clearly relational property. Importantly, we find that the disparity between metaphysical and ascription items is due to participants using a principle of charity to interpret disagreement cases such that both parties can be correct. (shrink)
Perceptions guide our actions and provide us with evidence of the world around us. Illusions and hallucinations can mislead us: they may prompt as to act in ways that do not mesh with the world around us and they may lead us to form false beliefs about that world. The capacity view provides an account of evidence that does justice to these two facts. It shows in virtue of what illusions and hallucinations mislead us and prompt us to act. Moreover, (...) it shows in virtue of what we are in a better epistemic position when we perceive than when we hallucination. In this paper, I develop the capacity view, that is, the view that perceptual experience has epistemic force in virtue of the epistemic and metaphysical primacy of the perceptual capacities employed in perception. By grounding the epistemic force of experience in facts about the metaphysical structure of experience, the capacity view is not only an externalist view, but moreover a naturalistic view of the epistemology of perceptual experience. So it is an externalist and naturalistic alternative to reliabilism. I discuss the repercussions of this view for the justification of beliefs and the epistemic transparency of mental states, as well as, familiar problem cases. (shrink)
Some well-known metaphysical arguments against relativism rest on the claim that relativity somehow must be accompanied by relationality. I argue otherwise, and trace the consequences for some prominent disputes between relativists and absolutists.
It has recently been argued that the following Rule should be part of any characterization of science: Claims concerning specific disputed facts should be endorsed only if they are sufficiently supported by the application of validated methods of research or discovery, and moreover that acceptance of this Rule should lead one to reject religious belief. This paper argues, first, that the Rule, as stated, should not be accepted as it suffers from a number of problems. And second, that even if (...) the Rule were to be acceptable, it should not lead one to reject religious belief. (shrink)
According to a traditional view, perceptual experiences are composites of distinct sensory and cognitive components. This dual-component theory has many benefits; in particular, it purports to offer a way forward in the debate over what kinds of properties perceptual experiences represent. On this kind of view, the issue reduces to the questions of what the sensory and cognitive components respectively represent. Here, I focus on the former topic. I propose a theory of the contents of the sensory aspects of perceptual (...) experience that provides clear criteria for identifying what kinds of properties they represent. (shrink)
The paper reviews the empirical evidence for highly significant variation across perceivers in hue perception and argues that color physicalism cannot accommodate this variability. Two views that can accommodate the individual differences in hue perception are considered: the self-locating property theory, according to which colors are self-locating properties, and color relationalism, according to which colors are relations to perceivers and viewing conditions. It is subsequently argued that on a plausible rendition of the two views, the self-locating theory has a slight (...) advantage over color relationalism in being truer to the phenomenology of our color experiences. (shrink)
Data about perceptual variation motivate the ecumenicist view that distinct color representations are mutually compatible. On the other hand, data about agreement and disagreement motivate making distinct color representations mutually incompatible. Prima facie, these desiderata appear to conflict. I’ll lay out and assess two strategies for managing the conflict—color relationalism, and the self-locating property theory of color—with the aim of deciding how best to have your cake and eat it, too.
In what sense does empty space feature in visual experience? In the first part of this essay I sketch a view advanced by Soteriou and Richardson on which one's visual awareness of empty space is explained by appeal to ‘structural’ features of the phenomenology of visual experience, in particular the phenomenology of experiencing one's visual field as bounded. I suggest that although this ‘structuralist’ view is silent on whether empty space has a phenomenal appearance, the very appeal to structural features (...) seems a natural foil to some such thought. In the second part, I outline a view on which it can be granted that empty space does, after all, have a phenomenal appearance and, so, is not best cast as a species of absence perception as the structuralist avows, at least on a certain construal of ‘absence perception’. After O'Shaughnessy , I contend that although some privations have a phenomenal appearance, ‘absence perception’ should single out the putative perception of phenomena that lack phenomenal reality. I finally consider how the descriptive phenomenology that the structuralist points to, and which I urge should be embraced, can nonetheless be reconciled with the view I spell out. (shrink)
I argue that an experience’s sensuous elements play an ineliminable role in our being intentionally directed upon an entity through perception. More specifically, I argue that whenever we appreciate a sensuous element in experience, we appreciate an intrinsic and irreducibly phenomenal aspect of experience that I call phenomenal presence – an aspect of experience that I show is central to its presentational character – and that the appreciation of phenomenal presence is necessary for perceptual intentionality. If an experience is to (...) possess intentionality, the experience itself must make an entity available as an object of perceptually-based singular beliefs and the experiencing subject, by virtue of undergoing the experience, must in some sense be able to appreciate that it has done so. Phenomenal presence is necessary for perceptual intentionality because it plays an ineliminable role in making an entity available to its subject in this way. (shrink)
I offer a new objectivist theory of the contents of color language and color experience, intended especially as an account of what normal intersubjective variation in color perception and classification shows about those contents. First I explain an abstract account of the contents of color and other gradable adjectives; on the account, these contents are certain objective properties constituted in part by contextually intended standards of application, which are in turn values in the dimensions of variation associated with the adjectives. (...) Then I propose an explanation of normal variations in linguistic color classification; these are postulated to be effects of differences in intended standards for the color adjectives appearing in the classifying predicates. Next, I consider a potential objection to this explanation, based on the suggestion that contextual content should be more accessible than the explanation predicts. In reply, I point out that contextual content is occasionally opaque to unsophisticated reflection. Finally, I present a companion account of the contents of color experiences on which these represent an object as lying on certain salient intervals in the chromatic dimensions, and I show how the account accommodates intersubjective variation in color perception. (shrink)
Despite the fact that many of our beliefs are justified by perceptual experience, there is relatively little exploration of the connections between epistemic justification and perceptual content. This is unfortunate since it seems likely that some views of justification will require particular views of content, and the package of the two might be quite a bit less attractive than either view considered alone. I will argue that this is the case for epistemic internalism. In particular, epistemic internalism requires a view (...) of perceptual content that results in an error theory of perception. This, in turn, hobbles the internalist’s account of perceptual justification. While there are various stages along the way at which one can resist the argument, each one will involve significant commitments that highlight heretofore unacknowledged connections between justification and content. Even if the internalist is willing to make these moves and resist the argument, the argument reveals a novel way for the epistemic externalist to resist one of internalism’s main arguments. (shrink)
In this paper I examine whether different suggestions made in the philosophy of perception can help us to explain and understand the phenomenal character of emotional experience. After having introduced the range of possible positions, I consider qualia-theory, reductive pure intentionalism and reductive impure intentionalism. I argue that qualia-theory can easily explain why emotions are phenomenal states at all but that it cannot account for the “inextricable link thesis” which is quite prominent in the philosophy of emotion. Reductive pure and (...) impure intentionalism, in turn, seem to fit better with this thesis but they have difficulties to explain what makes emotions phenomenal states at all. Therefore, I finally discuss whether non-reductive intentionalism might be an option for explaining the phenomenal character of emotional experience. (shrink)
Some recently popular accounts of perception account for the phenomenal character of perceptual experience in terms of the qualities of objects. My concern in this paper is with naturalistic versions of such a phenomenal externalist view. Focusing on visual spatial perception, I argue that naturalistic phenomenal externalism conflicts with a number of scientific facts about the geometrical characteristics of visual spatial experience.
There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to representationalism, perceptual states are representations: they represent the world as being a certain way. They have content, which may or may not be different from the content of beliefs. They represent objects as having properties, sometimes veridically, sometimes not. According to relationalism, perception is a relation between the agent and the perceived object. Perceived objects are literally constituents of our perceptual states and not of the contents thereof. Perceptual (...) states are not representations. My aim is to argue that if we frame this debate as a debate about the individuation of perceptual states, rather than the nature of perception, then we can reconcile these two seemingly conflicting ways of thinking about perception. (shrink)
According to a classic but nowadays discarded philosophical theory, perceptual experience is a complex of nonconceptual sensory states and full-blown propositional beliefs. This classical dual-component theory of experience is often taken to be obsolete. In particular, there seem to be cases in which perceptual experience and belief conflict: cases of known illusions, wherein subjects have beliefs contrary to the contents of their experiences. Modern dual-component theories reject the belief requirement and instead hold that perceptual experience is a complex of nonconceptual (...) sensory states and some other sort of conceptual state. The most popular modern dual-component theory appeals to sui generis propositional attitudes called ‘perceptual seemings’. This article argues that the classical dual-component theory has the resources to explain known illusions without giving up the claim that the conceptual components of experience are beliefs. The classical dual-component view, though often viewed as outdated and implausible, should be regarded as a serious contender in contemporary debates about the nature of perceptual experience. (shrink)
Sometimes we speak of behaviours and actions as reactions, just as we speak of physical conditions and mental states as reactions. But what do we mean when we say that emotions are reactions? I answer this question by developing an account of emotions as psychological reactions to presentations or representations of states of affairs. I show that this account may provide a novel conceptual framework for explaining aspects of the intentionality, phenomenology and behavioural manifestation of emotions. I conclude by showing (...) that this account is compatible with the view that emotions can be assessed on grounds of justification and correctness. (shrink)
The view that physical objects do not, in fact, possess colour properties is certainly the dominant position amongst scientists working on colour vision. It is also a reasonably popular view amongst philosophers. However, the recent philosophical debate about the metaphysical status of colour properties seems to have taken a more realist turn. In this article, I review the main philosophical views – eliminativism, physicalism, dispositionalism and primitivism – and describe the problems they face. I also examine how these views have (...) been classified and suggest that there may be less disparity between some of these positions than previously thought. (shrink)
This paper compares tracking and phenomenal intentionality theories of intentionality with respect to the issue of naturalism. Tracking theories explicitly aim to naturalize intentionality, while phenomenal intentionality theories generally do not. It might seem that considerations of naturalism count in favor of tracking theories. We survey key considerations relevant to this claim, including some motivations for and objections to the two kinds of theories. We conclude by suggesting that naturalistic considerations may in fact support phenomenal intentionality theories over tracking theories.
A perceptual experience of a given object seems to make the object itself present to the perceiver’s mind. Many philosophers have claimed that naïve realism (the view that to perceive is to stand in a primitive relation of acquaintance to the world) provides a better account of this phenomenological directness of perceptual experience than does the content view (the view that to perceive is to represent the world to be a certain way). But the naïve realist account of this phenomenology (...) has a conspicuous shortcoming: it explains the phenomenological directness of veridical perceptual experiences but not of hallucinations. Conversely, I maintain that a particular variety of the content view provides a unified account of the phenomenological directness of both veridical and hallucinatory experiences. If so, then contrary to what is often assumed, the phenomenological facts concerning perceptual experience are explained better by the content view than by naïve realism, and consequently, we have a compelling reason to prefer the content view to naïve realism. (shrink)
Navigating the ontology of color used to be a simple affair. There was the naive view that colors really are in objects the way they appear, and the view that they are secondary qualities to cause certain experiences in us. Today, there are myriad well-developed views but no satisfactory taxonomy of philosophical theories on color. In this article, I first examine the two newest taxonomies on offer and argue that they are inadequate. In particular, I look at Brogaard’s taxonomy and (...) then Cohen’s. One of the reasons I am displeased with Brogaard and Cohen’s taxonomies is that I find it implausible that dispositions are relational properties. I provide an argument against this way of classifying dispositions. Having learned from the vices and virtues of Brogaard and Cohens’ taxonomies, I provide what I believe is a much-enhanced way of taxonomizing philosophical views on color. My taxonomy rules out certain views, clarifies others, and shows that there is an unnoticed view worthy of consideration. (shrink)
Colour relationalism holds that the colours are constituted by relations to subjects. Anti-relationalists have claimed that this view stands in stark contrast to our phenomenally-informed, pre-theoretic intuitions. Is this claim right? Cohen and Nichols’ recent empirical study suggests not, as about half of their participants seemed to be relationalists about colour. Despite Cohen and Nichols’ study, we think that the anti-relationalist’s claim is correct. We explain why there are good reasons to suspect that Cohen and Nichols’ experimental design skewed their (...) results in favour of relationalism. We then run an improved study and find that most of our participants seem to be anti-relationalists. We find some other interesting things too. Our results suggest that the majority of ordinary people find it no less intuitive that colours are objective than that shapes are objective. We also find some evidence that when those with little philosophical training are asked about the colours of objects, their intuitions about colour and shape cases are similar, but when asked about people’s colour ascriptions, their intuitions about colour and shape cases differ. (shrink)
The analogy between colors and values is strongly interlinked with the idea that these properties are by nature dispositions or response-dependent properties. Indeed, that colors are essentially visible, and values are inherently motivational, cries out for a dispositional or a response-dependent account. Recently, Primitivism has challenged the viability of the dispositional account of colors, taking the apple, for instance, to be “gloriously, perfectly, and primitively red.” Unsurprisingly, the attack on the dispositional account of colors has found a moral analogue in (...) the view that values are sui generis irreducibly primitive properties. The question this article addresses is whether given Primitivism the analogy between colors and values is preserved; or in other words, whether Primitivism breaks the bond between the dispositional account and the analogy between colors and values. (shrink)
The dominant view among philosophers of perception is that color experiences, like color judgments, are essentially representational: as part of their very nature color experiences possess representational contents which are either accurate or inaccurate. My starting point in assessing this view is Sydney Shoemaker’s familiar account of color perception. After providing a sympathetic reconstruction of his account, I show how plausible assumptions at the heart of Shoemaker’s theory make trouble for his claim that color experiences represent the colors of things. (...) I consider various ways of trying to avoid the objection, and find all of the responses wanting. My conclusion is that we have reason to be skeptical of the orthodox view that color experiences are constitutively representational. (shrink)
It is a live possibility that certain of our experiences reliably misrepresent the world around us. I argue that tracking theories of mental representation have difficulty allowing for this possibility, and that this is a major consideration against them.
All representationalists maintain that there is a necessary connection between an experience’s phenomenal character and intentional content; but there is a disagreement amongst representationalists regarding the nature of those intentional contents that are necessarily connected to phenomenal character. Russellian representationalists maintain that the relevant contents are composed of objects and/or properties, while Fregean representationalists maintain that the relevant contents are composed of modes of presentation of objects and properties. According to Fregean representationalists such as David Chalmers and Brad Thompson, the (...) Fregean variety of the view is preferable to the Russellian variety because the former can accommodate purported counterexamples involving spectrum inversion without illusion and colour constancy while the latter cannot. I maintain that colour constancy poses a special problem for the Fregean theory in that the features of the theory that enable it handle spectrum inversion without illusion cannot be extended to handle colour constancy. I consider the two most plausible proposals regarding how the Fregean view might be developed in order to handle colour constancy—one of which has recently been defended by Thompson —and argue that neither is adequate. I conclude that Fregean representationalism is no more able to accommodate colour constancy than is Russellian representationalism and, as such, ought to be rejected. (shrink)
In recent years, many philosophers have supposed that perceptual representations have propositional content. A prominent rationale for this supposition is the assumption that perceptions may justify beliefs, but this rationale can be doubted. This rationale may be doubted on the grounds that there do not seem to be any viable characterizations of the belief-justifying propositional contents of perceptions. An alternative is to model perceptual representations as marks in a perceptual similarity space. A mapping can be defined between points in perceptual (...) similarity space and points in an objective quality space. The correctness of perceptual representation can then be defined as a kind of accuracy of mapping rather than as the truth of a proposition. The phenomenon of seeing-as can be accounted for as a matter of the location of marks in perceptual similarity space relative to other marks in perceptual similarity space. Perceptual representations, on this account, will not justify beliefs, but they may nonetheless guide judgment. (shrink)
Perceptual experiences inform us about objective properties of things in our environment. But they also have perspectival character in the sense that they differ phenomenally when objects are viewed from different points of view. Contemporary representationalists hold, at a minimum, that phenomenal character supervenes on representational content. Thus, in order to account for perspectival character, they need to indentify a type of representational content that changes in appropriate ways with the perceiver’s point of view. Many representationlists, including Shoemaker and Lycan, (...) argue that such contents are best construed in terms of mind-dependent properties. Other representationalists, including Tye and Dretske, hold that these contents involve only mind-independent properties. Susanna Schellenberg has recently developed an account of perceptual experience that would serve these latter representationalists extremely well. She suggests that we can do justice to the perspectival character of perceptual experience by appeal to representations of a certain type of relational properties, so-called ‘situation-dependent properties.’ In this paper, I critically engage with Schellenberg’s proposal in order to show how mind-independent representationalists can explain perspectival character. I argue that appeal to situation-dependent properties is problematic. I then show that mind-independent representationalists can account for perspectical character by means of scenario contents in Christopher Peacocke’s sense. (shrink)
Abstract: In philosophy, perceptual constancy refers to the puzzling phenomenon of the perception of properties of objects despite our changing experience of those properties. Husserl developed a sophisticated description of perceptual constancy. In this paper I sketch Husserl's approach, which focuses on the suggestion that perception is partly constituted by the continuous interplay of intention and fulfilment. Unlike many contemporary theories, this framework gives us a way to understand the relationship between different appearances of the same object. I will show (...) how Husserl's work connects with contemporary theories which emphasize perceptual constancy from particular perspectives. These theories include appeals to perspectival properties and Cohen's counterfactual theory. Also, I show how Husserl's account shares important themes with Kelly's recent interpretation of Merleau-Ponty on perceptual constancy. (shrink)
Representationalism is, roughly, the view that experiencing is to be analyzed wholly in terms of representing. But what sorts of properties are represented in experience? According to a prominent form of representationalism, objective representationalism, experiences represent only objective (i.e. suitably mind-independent) properties. I explore subjective representationalism, the view that experiences represent at least some subjective (i.e. suitably mind-dependent) properties. Subjective representationalists, but not objective representationalists, can accommodate cases of illusion-free phenomenal inversion. Moreover, subjective representationalism captures the so-called transparency of experience, (...) as it is standardly articulated, just as well as objective representationalism. (shrink)
There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to the first one, perception is representational: it represents the world as being a certain way. According to the second, perception is a genuine relation between the perceiver and a token object. These two views are thought to be incompatible. My aim is to work out the least problematic version of the representational view of perception that preserves the most important considerations in favor of the relational view. According to (...) this version of representationalism, the properties represented in perception are tropes—abstract particulars that are logically incapable of being present in two distinct individuals at the same time. I call this view ‘trope representationalism’. (shrink)
Are the following propositions true of the colors: No object can be more than one determinable or determinate color all over at the same time (Incompatibility); the colors of objects are mind-independent (Objectivism); and most human observers usually perceive the colors of objects veridically in typical conditions (Veridicality)? One reason to think not is that the empirical literature appears to support the proposition that there is mass perceptual disagreement about the colors of objects amongst human observers in typical conditions (P-Disagreement). (...) In this article, we defend Incompatibility, Objectivism, and Veridicality by calling into question whether the empirical literature really supports P-Disagreement. (shrink)
According to naïve realist (or primitivist) theories of colour, colours are sui generis mind-independent properties. The question that I consider in this paper is the relationship of naïve realism to what Mark Johnston calls Revelation, the thesis that the essential nature of colour is fully revealed in a standard visual experience. In the first part of the paper, I argue that if naïve realism is true, then Revelation is false. In the second part of the paper, I defend naïve realism (...) against a number of objections. (shrink)
Conceptualism is the thesis that, for any perceptual experience E, (i) E has a Fregean proposition as its content and (ii) a subject of E must possess a concept for each item represented by E. We advance a framework within which conceptualism may be defended against its most serious objections (e.g., Richard Heck's argument from nonveridical experience). The framework is of independent interest for the philosophy of mind and epistemology given its implications for debates regarding transparency, relationalism and representationalism, demonstrative (...) thought, phenomenal character, and the speckled hen objection to modest foundationalism. (shrink)
I argue that McDowell-style disjunctivism, as the position is often cashed out, goes wrong because it takes the good epistemic standing of veridical perception to be grounded in “manifest” facts which do not necessarily satisfy any epistemic constraints. A better form of disjunctivism explains the difference between good and bad cases in terms of epistemic constraints that the states satisfy. This view allows us to preserve McDowell’s thesis that good cases make facts manifest, as long as manifest facts must satisfy (...) epistemic constraints. (shrink)
Representationalists hold that the phenomenal character of a perceptual experience is identical with, or supervenes on, an aspect of its representational content. As such, representationalism could be disproved by a counter-example consisting of two experiences that have the same representational content but differ in phenomenal character. In this paper, I discuss two recently proposed counter-examples to representationalism that involve ambiguous or reversible figures. I pursue two goals. My first, and most important, goal is to show that the representationalist can offer (...) plausible responses to both counter-examples. My second goal is to show the implications of these responses for the nature of the spatial representational contents of perceptual experiences. (shrink)
As standardly conceived, an illusion is an experience of an object o appearing F where o is not in fact F. Paradigm examples of color illusion, however, do not fit this pattern. A diagnosis of this uncovers different sense of appearance talk that is the basis of a dilemma for the standard conception. The dilemma is only a challenge. But if the challenge cannot be met, then any conception of experience, such as representationalism, that is committed to the standard conception (...) is false. Perhaps surprisingly, naïve realism provides a better account of color illusion.An apparence ymaad by som Magyk. Chaucer. (shrink)
The paper defends a neo-Lockean view of secondary qualities, in particular color, according to which the being of a given color amounts to having the disposition to produce in normal viewers under normal circumstances the response of seeing an objective manifest simple color. It also defends the view that the naïve color-concept, the simple color concept, so to speak, is a fully objective property. The defense of this view is carried against its nearest cousin , the view proposed and defended (...) by Philip Pettit and Frank Jackson, according to which the naive color concept is response dependent, whereas color itself is fully objective. It is argued that the neo-Lockean alternative better captures the phenomenology of color, and better predicts or accounts for the dramatic character of the historical scientific discoveries (of Newton and his followers). Against metaphysical response dependence, the paper proposes a brief positive argument from the unity of color properties, and a criticism of Jackson’s counter-argument against metaphysical response-dependence from the naïve intuitions about causal properties of color. (shrink)