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Appearance and Illusion

Mind 123 (490):339-376 (2014)

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  1. Why Do We Need Perceptual Content?Ayoob Shahmoradi - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):776-788.
    Most representationalists argue that perceptual experience has to be representational because phenomenal looks are, by themselves, representational. Charles Travis argues that looks cannot represent. I argue that perceptual experience has to be representational due to the way the visual system works.
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  • Kant on Perceptual Content.Colin McLear - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):95-144.
    Call the idea that states of perceptual awareness have intentional content, and in virtue of that aim at or represent ways the world might be, the ‘Content View.’ I argue that though Kant is widely interpreted as endorsing the Content View there are significant problems for any such interpretation. I further argue that given the problems associated with attributing the Content View to Kant, interpreters should instead consider him as endorsing a form of acquaintance theory. Though perceptual acquaintance is controversial (...)
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  • Illusions of Optimal Motion, Relationism, and Perceptual Content.Santiago Echeverri - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):146-173.
    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 (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2018 - Noûs:1-50.
    I argue that perceptual consciousness is constituted by a mental activity. The mental activity in question is the activity of employing perceptual capacities, such as discriminatory, selective capacities. This is a radical view, but I hope to make it plausible. In arguing for this mental activist view, I reject orthodox views on which perceptual consciousness is analyzed in terms of peculiar entities, such as, phenomenal properties, external mind-independent properties, propositions, sense-data, qualia, or intentional objects.
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  • Perceptual Particularity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):25-54.
    Perception grounds demonstrative reference, yields singular thoughts, and fixes the reference of singular terms. Moreover, perception provides us with knowledge of particulars in our environment and justifies singular thoughts about particulars. How does perception play these cognitive and epistemic roles in our lives? I address this question by exploring the fundamental nature of perceptual experience. I argue that perceptual states are constituted by particulars and discuss epistemic, ontological, psychologistic, and semantic approaches to account for perceptual particularity.
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  • Implications of Intensional Perceptual Ascriptions for Relationalism, Disjunctivism, and Representationalism About Perceptual Experience.David Bourget - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):381-408.
    This paper aims to shed new light on certain philosophical theories of perceptual experience by examining the semantics of perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees an apple.” I start with the assumption, recently defended elsewhere, that perceptual ascriptions lend themselves to intensional readings. In the first part of the paper, I defend three theses regarding such readings: I) intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions ascribe phenomenal properties, II) perceptual verbs are not ambiguous between intensional and extensional readings, and III) intensional perceptual (...)
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  • Thinking About Events: A Pragmatist Account of the Objects of Episodic Hypothetical Thought.André Sant’Anna & Kourken Michaelian - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (1):187-217.
    The debate over the objects of episodic memory has for some time been stalled, with few alternatives to familiar forms of direct and indirect realism being advanced. This paper moves the debate forward by building on insights from the recent psychological literature on memory as a form of episodic hypothetical thought (or mental time travel) and the recent philosophical literature on relationalist and representationalist approaches to perception. The former suggests that an adequate account of the objects of episodic memory will (...)
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  • In Defense of Perceptual Content.Susanna Schellenberg - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):409-447.
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  • Nonsense and Visual Evanescence.Clare Mac Cumhaill - 2018 - In Clare Mac Cumhaill & Thomas Crowther (eds.), Perceptual Ephemera. Oxford, UK: pp. 289-311.
    I introduce a perceptual phenomenon so far overlooked in the philosophical literature: ‘visual evanescence’. ‘Evanescent’ objects are those that due to their structured visible appearances have a tendency to vanish or evanesce from sight at certain places and for certain ‘biologically apt’ perceivers. Paradigmatically evanescent objects are those associated with certain forms of animal camouflage. I show that reflection on visual evanescence helps create conceptual room for a treatment of looks statements not explicit in the contemporary literature, one which takes (...)
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  • The Epistemic Significance of Experience.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:947-67.
    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.
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  • Mirrors and Misleading Appearances.Vivian Mizrahi - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):354-367.
    ABSTRACTAlthough philosophers have often insisted that specular perception is illusory or erroneous in nature, few have stressed the reliability and indispensability of mirrors as optical instrumen...
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  • Two Conceptions of Phenomenology.Ori Beck - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    The phenomenal particularity thesis says that if a mind-independent particular is consciously perceived in a given perception, that particular is among the constituents of the perception’s phenomenology. Martin (2002a; 2002b), Campbell (2002), Gomes & French (2016) and others defend this thesis. Against them are Mehta (2014), Montague (2016, chp. 6), Schellenberg (2010) and others, who have produced strong arguments that the phenomenal particularity thesis is false. Unfortunately, neither side has persuaded the other, and it seems that the debate between them (...)
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  • Particularity of Content and Illusions of Identity.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (5):491-506.
    This paper argues that the accuracy of perceptual experiences cannot be properly characterized by using the particular notion of content without breaking one of the three plausible assumptions. On the other hand, the general notion of content is not threatened by this problem. The first assumption is that all elements of content determine the accuracy conditions of an experience. The second states that objects needed for the accuracy of experiences are physical entities that stand in a perceptual relation to a (...)
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  • Daubert’s Naïve Realist Challenge to Husserl.Matt E. M. Bower - 2019 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 96 (2):211-243.
    Despite extensive discussion of naïve realism in the wider philosophical literature, those influenced by the phenomenological movement who work in the philosophy of perception have hardly weighed in on the matter. It is thus interesting to discover that Edmund Husserl’s close philosophical interlocutor and friend, the early twentieth-century phenomenologist Johannes Daubert, held the naive realist view. This article presents Daubert’s views on the fundamental nature of perceptual experience and shows how they differ radically from those of Husserl’s. The author argues, (...)
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  • Mind-Object Identity: A Solution to the Hard Problem.Riccardo Manzotti - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
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  • Husserl on Hallucination: A Conjunctive Reading.Matt Bower - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    Several commentators have recently attributed conflicting accounts of the relation between veridical perceptual experience and hallucination to Husserl. Some say he is a proponent of the conjunctive view that the two kinds of experience are fundamentally the same. Others deny this and purport to find in Husserl distinct and non-overlapping accounts of their fundamental natures, thus committing him to a disjunctive view. My goal is to set the record straight. Having briefly laid out the problem under discussion and the terms (...)
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  • Intentionalism, Defeasibility, and Justification.Glüer-Pagin Kathrin - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1007-1030.
    According to intentionalism, perceptual experience is a mental state with representational content. When it comes to the epistemology of perception, it is only natural for the intentionalist to hold that the justificatory role of experience is at least in part a function of its content. In this paper, I argue that standard versions of intentionalism trying to hold on to this natural principle face what I call the “defeasibility problem”. This problem arises from the combination of standard intentionalism with further (...)
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  • Perceptual Reasons.Juan Comesana & Matthew McGrath - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):991-1006.
    The two main theories of perceptual reasons in contemporary epistemology can be called Phenomenalism and Factualism. According to Phenomenalism, perceptual reasons are facts about experiences conceived of as phenomenal states, i.e., states individuated by phenomenal character, by what it’s like to be in them. According to Factualism, perceptual reasons are instead facts about the external objects perceived. The main problem with Factualism is that it struggles with bad cases: cases where perceived objects are not what they appear or where there (...)
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  • The Intuitive Case for Naïve Realism.Harold Langsam - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (1):106-122.
    Naïve realism, the view that perceptual experiences are irreducible relations between subjects and external objects, has intuitive appeal, but this intuitive appeal is sometimes thought to be undermined by the possibility of certain kinds of hallucinations. In this paper, I present the intuitive case for naïve realism, and explain why this intuitive case is not undermined by the possibility of such hallucinations. Specifically, I present the intuitive case for naïve realism as arguing that the only way to make sense of (...)
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  • The Little Word “As.” On Making Contexts and Aspects Explicit.Konrad Werner - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-22.
    The word “as” enables one to make contexts and aspects of things explicit while attributing properties or descriptions to them. For example “John is rational as a mathematician”; “John is irrational as a driver.” This paper examines the idea according to which all propositions containing “as” should be targeted as potential inferences about the subject; as for the examples given—about John. If the inference is valid—the conception in question holds—one can get rid of “as.” I argue against that view by (...)
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  • Fregean Particularism.Susanna Schellenberg - forthcoming - In Dirk Kindermann, Andy Egan & Peter Van Elswyk (eds.), Unstructured Content. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  • Intentionalism, Defeasibility, and Justification.Kathrin Glüer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1007-1030.
    According to intentionalism, perceptual experience is a mental state with representational content. When it comes to the epistemology of perception, it is only natural for the intentionalist to hold that the justificatory role of experience is at least in part a function of its content. In this paper, I argue that standard versions of intentionalism trying to hold on to this natural principle face what I call the “defeasibility problem”. This problem arises from the combination of standard intentionalism with further (...)
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  • Knowing What Things Look Like.Matthew McGrath - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (1):1-41.
    Walking through the supermarket, I see the avocados. I know they are avocados. Similarly, if you see a pumpkin on my office desk, you can know it’s a pumpkin from its looks. The phenomenology in such cases is that of “just seeing” that such and such. This phenomenology might suggest that the knowledge gained is immediate. This paper argues, to the contrary, that in these target cases, the knowledge is mediate, depending as it does on one’s knowledge of what the (...)
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  • Memory Without Content? Radical Enactivism and (Post)Causal Theories of Memory.Kourken Michaelian & André Sant’Anna - forthcoming - Synthese:1-29.
    Radical enactivism, an increasingly influential approach to cognition in general, has recently been applied to memory in particular, with Hutto and Peeters (2018) providing the first systematic discussion of the implications of the approach for mainstream philosophical theories of memory. Hutto and Peeters argue that radical enactivism, which entails a conception of memory traces as contentless, is fundamentally at odds with current causal and postcausal theories, which remain committed to a conception of traces as contentful: on their view, if radical (...)
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  • Rethinking Naive Realism.Ori Beck - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):607-633.
    Perceptions are externally-directed—they present us with a mind-independent reality, and thus contribute to our abilities to think about this reality, and to know what is objectively the case. But perceptions are also internally-dependent—their phenomenologies depend on the neuro-computational properties of the subject. A good theory of perception must account for both these facts. But naive realism has been criticized for failing to accommodate internal-dependence. This paper evaluates and responds to this criticism. It first argues that a certain version of naive (...)
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  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):114-133.
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  • Asymmetry Arguments.Berislav Marušić - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1081-1102.
    In the First Meditation, the Cartesian meditator temporarily concludes that he cannot know anything, because he cannot discriminate dreaming from waking while he is dreaming. To resist the meditator’s conclusion, one could deploy an asymmetry argument. Following Bernard Williams, one could argue that even if the meditator cannot discriminate dreaming from waking while dreaming, it does not follow that he cannot do it while awake. In general, asymmetry arguments seek to identify an asymmetry between a bad case that is entertained (...)
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  • What is It Like to Be the Metaphysical Subject? An Essay on Early Wittgenstein, Our Epistemic Position, and Beyond.Konrad Werner - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (3):921-946.
    I argue that Ludwig Wittgenstein’s idea of the metaphysical subject sheds new light on subjective qualities of experience. In this article I draw first of all on the interpretations provided by Michael Kremer and James Conant. Subsequently, I conclude that “what is it like” means primarily “what is it like to see myself as the metaphysical subject”.
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  • Perceiving as Having Subjectively Conditioned Appearances.Gary Hatfield - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):149-178.
    This paper develops an appearance view of perception. When we see an object, we see it by having it appear some way to us. We see the object, not the appearance; but we see the object via the appearance. The appearance is subjectively conditioned: aspects of it depend on attributes of the subject. We mentally have the appearance and can reflect on it as an appearance. But in the primary instance, of veridical perception, it is the object that we focus (...)
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  • The Singular Relational Plus Relativistic Content View.Roberto Horácio de Sá Pereira - 2018 - Dialogue 57 (1):93-114.
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  • Perception Pragmatized: A Pragmatic Reconciliation of Representationalism and Relationalism.André Sant’Anna - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (2):411-432.
    This paper develops a theory of perception that reconciles representationalism and relationalism by relying on pragmatist ideas. I call it the pragmatic view of perception. I argue that fully reconciling representationalism and relationalism requires, first, providing a theory in which how we perceive the world involves representations; second, preserving the idea that perception is constitutively shaped by its objects; and third, offering a direct realist account of perception. This constitutes what I call the Hybrid Triad. I discuss how Charles Peirce’s (...)
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  • Levinas's Philosophy of Perception.Matt E. M. Bower - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4):383-414.
    Levinas is usually discussed as a philosopher wrestling with the nature of our experience of others, ethical obligation, and the divine. Unlike other phenomenologists, such as Husserl and Heidegger, he is not often mentioned in discussions about issues in philosophy of mind. His work in that area, especially on perception, is underappreciated. He gives an account of the nature of perceptual experience that is remarkable both in how it departs from that of others in the phenomenological tradition and for how (...)
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