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Perception: A Representative Theory

Cambridge University Press (1977)

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  1. Nonconceptual Content and the "Space of Reasons".Richard Heck - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (4):483-523.
    In Mind and World, John McDowell argues against the view that perceptual representation is non-conceptual. The central worry is that this view cannot offer any reasonable account of how perception bears rationally upon belief. I argue that this worry, though sensible, can be met, if we are clear that perceptual representation is, though non-conceptual, still in some sense 'assertoric': Perception, like belief, represents things as being thus and so.
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  • Are the Senses Silent? Travis’s Argument From Looks.Keith A. Wilson - 2018 - In John Collins & Tamara Dobler (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 199-221.
    Many philosophers and scientists take perceptual experience, whatever else it involves, to be representational. In ‘The Silence of the Senses’, Charles Travis argues that this view involves a kind of category mistake, and consequently, that perceptual experience is not a representational or intentional phenomenon. The details of Travis’s argument, however, have been widely misinterpreted by his representationalist opponents, many of whom dismiss it out of hand. This chapter offers an interpretation of Travis’s argument from looks that it is argued presents (...)
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  • Inferential and Non-Inferential Reasoning.Bart Streumer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):1-29.
    It is sometimes suggested that there are two kinds of reasoning: inferential reasoning and non-inferential reasoning. However, it is not entirely clear what the difference between these two kinds of reasoning is. In this paper, I try to answer the question what this difference is. I first discuss three answers to this question that I argue are unsatisfactory. I then give a different answer to this question, and I argue that this answer is satisfactory. I end by showing that this (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel (ed.) - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness provides the most comprehensive overview of current philosophical research on consciousness. Featuring contributions from some of the most prominent experts in the field, it explores the wide range of types of consciousness there may be, the many psychological phenomena with which consciousness interacts, and the various views concerning the ultimate relationship between consciousness and physical reality. It is an essential and authoritative resource for anyone working in philosophy of mind or interested in (...)
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  • Knowing What I See.Alex Byrne - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    How do I know that I see a cat? A curiously under-asked question. The paper tries to answer it.
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  • High-Level Properties and Visual Experience.William Fish - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (1):43-55.
  • Perceptual Consciousness as a Mental Activity.Susanna Schellenberg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (1):114-133.
    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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  • Sensible Over-Determination.Umrao Sethi - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):588-616.
    I develop a view of perception that does justice to Price's intuition that all sensory experience acquaints us with sensible qualities like colour and shape. Contrary to the received opinion, I argue that we can respect this intuition while insisting that ordinary perception puts us in direct contact with the mind-independent world. In other words, Price's intuition is compatible with naïve realism. Both hallucinations and ordinary perceptions acquaint us with instances of the same kinds of sensible qualities. While the instances (...)
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  • Logic, Logical Form and the Disunity of Truth.Will Gamester - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):34-43.
    Monists say that the nature of truth is invariant, whichever sentence you consider; pluralists say that the nature of truth varies between different sets of sentences. The orthodoxy is that logic and logical form favour monism: there must be a single property that is preserved in any valid inference; and any truth-functional complex must be true in the same way as its components. The orthodoxy, I argue, is mistaken. Logic and logical form impose only structural constraints on a metaphysics of (...)
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  • The Location of Pains.David Bain - 2007 - Philosophical Papers 36 (2):171-205.
    Perceptualists say that having a pain in a body part consists in perceiving the part as instantiating some property. I argue that perceptualism makes better sense of the connections between pain location and the experiences undergone by people in pain than three alternative accounts that dispense with perception. Turning to fellow perceptualists, I also reject ways in which David Armstrong and Michael Tye understand and motivate perceptualism, and I propose an alternative interpretation, one that vitiates a pair of objections—due to (...)
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  • Is Perceptual Phenomenology Thin?Farid Masrour - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):366-397.
  • How Beliefs Are Like Colors.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
    Teresa believes in God. Maggie’s wife believes that the Earth is flat, and also that Maggie should be home from work by now. Anouk—a cat—believes it is dinner time. This dissertation is about what believing is: it concerns what, exactly, ordinary people are attributing to Teresa, Maggie’s wife, and Anouk when affirming that they are believers. Part I distinguishes the attitudes of belief that people attribute to each other (and other animals) in ordinary life from the cognitive states of belief (...)
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  • Representationalism and the Perspectival Character of Perceptual Experience.René Jagnow - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (2):227-249.
    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, (...)
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  • Another Look at Color Primitivism.Pendaran Roberts - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2489-2506.
    This article is on a precise kind of color primitivism, ‘ostensivism.’ This is the view that it is in the nature of the colors that they are phenomenal, non-reductive, structural, categorical properties. First, I differentiate ostensivism from other precise forms of primitivism. Next, I examine the core belief ‘Revelation,’ and propose a revised version, which, unlike standard statements, is compatible with a yet unstated but plausible core belief: roughly, that there are interesting things to be discovered about the nature of (...)
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  • Do Colours Look Like Dispositions? Reply to Langsam and Others.Alex Byrne - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):238-245.
    Dispositional theories of colour have been attacked by McGinn and others on the ground that ‘Colours do not look like dispositions’. Langsam has argued that on the contrary they do, in ‘Why Colours Do Look Like Dispositions’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 50 , pp. 68–75. I make three claims. First, neither side has made its case. Secondly, it is true, at least on one interpretation, that colours do not look like dispositions. Thirdly, this does not show that dispositionalism about colours is (...)
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  • Double Vision, Phosphenes and Afterimages: Non-Endorsed Representations Rather Than Non-Representational Qualia.Işık Sarıhan - 2020 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 16 (1):5-32.
    Pure representationalism or intentionalism for phenomenal experience is the theory that all introspectible qualitative aspects of a conscious experience can be analyzed as qualities that the experience non-conceptually represents the world to have. Some philosophers have argued that experiences such as afterimages, phosphenes and double vision are counterexamples to the representationalist theory, claiming that they are non- representational states or have non-representational aspects, and they are better explained in a qualia-theoretical framework. I argue that these states are fully representational states (...)
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  • What’s That Smell?Clare Batty - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):321-348.
    In philosophical discussions of the secondary qualities, color has taken center stage. Smells, tastes, sounds, and feels have been treated, by and large, as mere accessories to colors. We are, as it is said, visual creatures. This, at least, has been the working assumption in the philosophy of perception and in those metaphysical discussions about the nature of the secondary qualities. The result has been a scarcity of work on the “other” secondary qualities. In this paper, I take smells and (...)
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  • Feeling of Knowing and Phenomenal Consciousness.Tiziana Zalla & Adriano P. Palma - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2):271-272.
    In Feeling of Knowing cases, subjects have a form of consciousness about the presence of a content without having access to it. If this phenomenon can be correctly interpreted as having to do with consciousness, then there would be a P-conscious mental experience which is dissociated from access.
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  • More on Prosopagnosia.Andrew W. Young - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2):271-271.
    Some cases of prosopagnosia involve a highly circumscribed loss of A-consciousness. When seen in this way they offer further support for the arguments made in Block's target article.
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  • Consciousness is Not a Natural Kind.J. van Brakel - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2):269-270.
    Blocks distinction between “phenomenal feel” consciousness and “thought/cognition” consciousness is a cultural construction. Consciousness is not a natural kind. Some crosscultural data are presented to support this.
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  • Access Denied.Dan Lloyd - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2):261-262.
    The information processing that constitutes accessconsciousness is not sufficient to make a representational state conscious in any sense. Standard examples of computation without consciousness undermine A-consciousness, and Block's cases seem to derive their plausibility from a lurking phenomenal awareness. That is, people and other minded systems seem to have access-consciousness only insofar as the state accessed is a phenomenal one, or the state resulting from access is phenomenal, or both.
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  • Breakthrough on the Consciousness Front or Much Ado About Nothing?N. F. Dixon - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (2):253-254.
    Propositions as to the nature of consciousness, based on disorders of perception that result from brain damage, and taking insufficient account of the numerous ways in which normal subjects may deviate from that “usual” sequence of events risk increasing rather than diminishing any existing confusion about the function of consciousness.
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  • The Abductivist Reply to Skepticism.James R. Beebe - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):605-636.
    Abductivists claim that explanatory considerations (e.g., simplicity, parsimony, explanatory breadth, etc.) favor belief in the external world over skeptical hypotheses involving evil demons and brains in vats. After showing how most versions of abductivism succumb fairly easily to obvious and fatal objections, I explain how rationalist versions of abductivism can avoid these difficulties. I then discuss the most pressing challenges facing abductivist appeals to the a priori and offer suggestions on how to overcome them.
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  • 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 (.
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  • Objects for Multisensory Perception.Casey O’Callaghan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1269-1289.
    Object perception deploys a suite of perceptual capacities that constrains attention, guides reidentification, subserves recognition, and anchors demonstrative thought. Objects for perception—perceptual objects—are the targets of such capacities. Characterizing perceptual objects for multisensory perception faces two puzzles. First is the diversity of objects across sensory modalities. Second is the unity of multisensory perceptual objects. This paper resolves the puzzles. Objects for perception are structured mereologically complex individuals. Perceptual objects are items that bear perceptible features and have perceptible parts arranged to (...)
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  • A New Perceptual Adverbialism.Justin D'Ambrosio - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (8):413-446.
    In this paper, I develop and defend a new adverbial theory of perception. I first present a semantics for direct-object perceptual reports that treats their object positions as supplying adverbial modifiers, and I show how this semantics definitively solves the many-property problem for adverbialism. My solution is distinctive in that it articulates adverbialism from within a well-established formal semantic framework and ties adverbialism to a plausible semantics for perceptual reports in English. I then go on to present adverbialism as a (...)
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  • Is Feeling Pain the Perception of Something?Murat Aydede - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (10):531-567.
    According to the increasingly popular perceptual/representational accounts of pain (and other bodily sensations such as itches, tickles, orgasms, etc.), feeling pain in a body region is perceiving a non-mental property or some objective condition of that region, typically equated with some sort of (actual or potential) tissue damage. In what follows I argue that given a natural understanding of what sensory perception requires and how it is integrated with (dedicated) conceptual systems, these accounts are mistaken. I will also examine the (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Andreas Lech Mogensen - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    I consider whether evolutionary explanations can debunk our moral beliefs. Most contemporary discussion in this area is centred on the question of whether debunking implications follow from our ability to explain elements of human morality in terms of natural selection, given that there has been no selection for true moral beliefs. By considering the most prominent arguments in the literature today, I offer reasons to think that debunking arguments of this kind fail. However, I argue that a successful evolutionary debunking (...)
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  • Non-Transitive Looks & Fallibilism.Philippe Chuard - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (2):161 - 200.
    Fallibilists about looks deny that the relation of looking the same as is non-transitive. Regarding familiar examples of coloured patches suggesting that such a relation is non-transitive, they argue that, in fact, indiscriminable adjacent patches may well look different, despite their perceptual indiscriminability: it’s just that we cannot notice the relevant differences in the chromatic appearances of such patches. In this paper, I present an argument that fallibilism about looks requires commitment to an empirically false consequence. To succeed in deflecting (...)
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  • Color, Error, and Explanatory Power.Jonathan Ellis - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (2):171-179.
    Error theorists about color argue that our ordinary judgments ascribing color to material objects are all false. The error theorist proposes that everything that is so, including the fact that material objects appear to us to have color, can best be explained without ever attributing color to objects (for instance, by appealing to surface reflectance properties, the nature of light, the neurophysiology of perceivers, etc.). The appeal of this view stems in significant part from the prevalent thought that such explanations (...)
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  • A Defense of Liberalism in the Epistemology of Perception.Megan Feeney - 2019 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
  • Indeterminate Perception and Colour Relationism.Brian Cutter - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):25-34.
    One of the most important objections to sense data theory comes from the phenomenon of indeterminate perception, as when an object in the periphery of one’s visual field looks red without looking to have any determinate shade of red. As sense data are supposed to have precisely the properties that sensibly appear to us, sense data theory evidently has the implausible consequence that a sense datum can have a determinable property without having any of its determinates. In this article, I (...)
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  • Are Sensory Properties Represented in Perceptual Experience?Nicoletta Orlandi - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (6):721-740.
    Philosophers of perception widely agree that sensory properties, like color, are represented in perceptual experience. Arguments are usually needed to establish that something other than sensory properties, for example three-dimensional objects or kind properties, are part of perceptual content. Call the idea that sensory properties are represented in perceptual experience the Sensation View (SV). Given its widespread acceptance, we may expect to find strong reasons for holding SV. In this paper, I argue that we lack such reasons: SV is largely (...)
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  • The Geometry of Visual Space and the Nature of Visual Experience.Farid Masrour - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1813-1832.
    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.
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  • Tracking Representationalism.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2014 - In Andrew Bailey (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum. pp. 209-235.
    This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
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  • I—The Presidential Address: Sensory Experience and Representational Properties.David Papineau - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (1pt1):1-33.
    This paper is about the nature of conscious sensory properties. My initial thesis is that these properties should not be equated with representational properties. I argue that any such representationalist view is in danger of implying that conscious sensory properties are constituted by relations to propositions or other abstract objects outside space and time; and I add that, even if this implication can be avoided, the broadness of representational properties in any case renders them unsuitable to constitute conscious properties. In (...)
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  • Bad by Nature, An Axiological Theory of Pain.Olivier Massin - forthcoming - In Jennifer Corns (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain. Routledge.
    This chapter defends an axiological theory of pain according to which pains are bodily episodes that are bad in some way. Section 1 introduces two standard assumptions about pain that the axiological theory constitutively rejects: (i) that pains are essentially tied to consciousness and (ii) that pains are not essentially tied to badness. Section 2 presents the axiological theory by contrast to these and provides a preliminary defense of it. Section 3 introduces the paradox of pain and argues that since (...)
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  • Seemings and Justification: An Introduction.Chris Tucker - 2013 - In Seemings and Justification: New Essays on Dogmatism and Phenomenal Conservatism. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-29.
    It is natural to think that many of our beliefs are rational because they are based on seemings, or on the way things seem. This is especially clear in the case of perception. Many of our mathematical, moral, and memory beliefs also appear to be based on seemings. In each of these cases, it is natural to think that our beliefs are not only based on a seeming, but also that they are rationally based on these seemings—at least assuming there (...)
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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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  • Pain (Oxford Bibliographies Online).David Bain - 2015 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    Philosophers think of pain less and less as a paradigmatic instance of mentality, for which they seek a general account, and increasingly as a rich and fruitful topic in its own right. Pain raises specific questions: about mentality and consciousness certainly, but also about embodiment, affect, motivation, and value, to name but a few. The growth of philosophical interest in pain has gone hand-in-hand with the growth of pain science, which burgeoned in the 1960s. This is no accident: developments in (...)
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  • Perceptual Demonstrative Thought: A Property-Dependent Theory.Sean Crawford - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):439-457.
    The paper presents a new theory of perceptual demonstrative thought, the property-dependent theory. It argues that the theory is superior to both the object-dependent theory (Evans, McDowell) and the object-independent theory (Burge).
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  • The Meaning of "Look".Wylie Breckenridge - 2007 - Dissertation, New College, University of Oxford
    My main aim is to clarify what we mean by ‘look’ sentences such as (1) below – ones that we use to talk about visual experience: -/- (1) The ball looked red to Sue -/- This is to help better understand a part of natural language that has so far resisted treatment, and also to help better understand the nature of visual experience. -/- By appealing to general linguistic principles I argue for the following account. First, we use (1) to (...)
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  • Colour Experiences and 'Look' Sentences.Wylie Breckenridge - manuscript
  • Visual Acquaintance, Action & The Explanatory Gap.Thomas Raleigh - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    Much attention has recently been paid to the idea, which I label ‘External World Acquaintance’ (EWA), that the phenomenal character of perceptual experience is partially constituted by external features. One motivation for EWA which has received relatively little discussion is its alleged ability to help deal with the ‘Explanatory Gap’ (e.g. Fish 2008, 2009, Langsam 2011, Allen 2016). I provide a reformulation of this general line of thought, which makes clearer how and when EWA could help to explain the specific (...)
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  • Hill on Mind.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:831-39.
    Hill's views on visual experience are critically examined.
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  • Redness, Reality, and Relationalism: Reply to Gert and Allen.Jonathan Cohen - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):351-378.
    In this paper I reply to two sets of criticisms—a first from Joshua Gert, and a second from Keith Allen—of the relationalist view of color developed and defended in my book, The Red and the Real: An Essay on Color Ontology.
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  • The Skeptic's Dogmatism: A Constructive Response to the Skeptical Problem.Kaplan Levent Hasanoglu - 2011 - Dissertation,
    The problem of philosophical skepticism relates to the difficulty involved in underwriting the claim that we know anything of spatio-temporal reality. It is often claimed, in fact, that proper philosophical scrutiny reveals quite the opposite from what common sense suggests. Knowledge of external reality is thought to be even quite obviously denied to us as a result of the alleged fact that we all fail to know that certain skeptical scenarios do not obtain. A skeptical scenario is one in which (...)
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  • The Intrinsic Quality of Experience.Gilbert Harman - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:31-52.
  • 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 (...)
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