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Do visual experiences have contents?

In Bence -Nanay (ed.), Perceiving the World. Oxford University Press (2010)

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  1. Do 'Looks' Reports Reflect the Contents of Perception?Berit Brogaard - manuscript
    Roderick Chisholm argued that ‘look’ can be used in three different ways: epistemically, comparatively and non-comparatively. Chisholm’s non-comparative sense of ‘look’ played an important role in Frank Jackson’s argument for the sense-datum theory. The question remains..
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  • Taxonomising the Senses.Fiona Macpherson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (1):123-142.
    I argue that we should reject the sparse view that there are or could be only a small number of rather distinct senses. When one appreciates this then one can see that there is no need to choose between the standard criteria that have been proposed as ways of individuating the senses—representation, phenomenal character, proximal stimulus and sense organ—or any other criteria that one may deem important. Rather, one can use these criteria in conjunction to form a fine-grained taxonomy of (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • Pictures Have Propositional Content.Alex Grzankowski - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (1):151-163.
    Although philosophers of art and aesthetics regularly appeal to a notion of ‘pictorial content’, there is little agreement over its nature. The present paper argues that pictures have propositional contents. This conclusion is reached by considering a style of argument having to do with the phenomenon of negation intended to show that pictures must have some kind of non-propositional content. I first offer reasons for thinking that arguments of that type fail. Second, I show that when properly understood, such arguments (...)
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  • Non‐Propositional Attitudes.Alex Grzankowski - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (12):1123-1137.
    Intentionality, or the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for things, remains central in the philosophy of mind. But the study of intentionality in the analytic tradition has been dominated by discussions of propositional attitudes such as belief, desire, and visual perception. There are, however, intentional states that aren't obviously propositional attitudes. For example, Indiana Jones fears snakes, Antony loves Cleopatra, and Jane hates the monster under her bed. The present paper explores such mental states (...)
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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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  • 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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  • The Representationalism Versus Relationalism Debate: Explanatory Contextualism About Perception.Bence Nanay - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (2):321-336.
    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 (...)
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  • Perceiving Tropes.Bence Nanay - 2012 - Erkenntnis 77 (1):1-14.
    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 (...)
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  • Perceptual Content Defended.Susanna Schellenberg - 2011 - Noûs 45 (4):714 - 750.
    Recently, the thesis that experience is fundamentally a matter of representing the world as being a certain way has been questioned by austere relationalists. I defend this thesis by developing a view of perceptual content that avoids their objections. I will argue that on a relational understanding of perceptual content, the fundamental insights of austere relationalism do not compete with perceptual experience being representational. As it will show that most objections to the thesis that experience has content apply only to (...)
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  • Please Mind the Gappy Content.Johan Gersel - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):219-239.
    Representationalist theories of experience face the problem that two sets of compelling intuitions seem to support the contrary conclusions that we should ascribe, respectively, singular contents and general contents to experience. Susanna Schellenberg has, in a series of articles, argued that we can conserve both sets of intuitions if we award a central explanatory role to the notions of gappy-contents and content-schemas in our theory of experience. I argue that there is difficulty in seeing how gappy-contents and content-schemas can fulfil (...)
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  • What Experience Cannot Teach Us About Time.Akiko M. Frischhut - 2013 - Topoi (1):1-13.
    Does the A-theory have an intuitive advantage over the B-theory? Many A-theorists have claimed so, arguing that their theory has a much better explanation for the fact that we all experience the passage of time: we experience time as passing because time really does pass. In this paper I expose and reject the argument behind the A-theorist’s claim. I argue that all parties have conceded far too easily that there is an experience that needs explaining in the first place. For (...)
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  • Representationalism and the Problem of Vagueness.Ryan Perkins & Tim Bayne - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (1):71-86.
    This paper develops a novel problem for representationalism (also known as "intentionalism"), a popular contemporary account of perception. We argue that representationalism is incompatible with supervaluationism, the leading contemporary account of vagueness. The problem generalizes to naive realism and related views, which are also incompatible with supervaluationism.
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  • Not All Attitudes Are Propositional.Alex Grzankowski - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy (3):374-391.
    Most contemporary philosophical discussions of intentionality start and end with a treatment of the propositional attitudes. In fact, many theorists hold that all attitudes are propositional attitudes. Our folk-psychological ascriptions suggest, however, that there are non-propositional attitudes: I like Sally, my brother fears snakes, everyone loves my grandmother, and Rush Limbaugh hates Obama. I argue that things are as they appear: there are non-propositional attitudes. More specifically, I argue that there are attitudes that relate individuals to non-propositional objects and do (...)
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  • Introduction: Perception Without Representation.Keith Wilson & Roberta Locatelli - 2017 - Topoi 36 (2):197-212.
  • Talking About Looks.Kathrin Glüer - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (4):781-807.
    In natural language, looks-talk is used in a variety of ways. I investigate three uses of ‘looks’ that have traditionally been distinguished – epistemic, comparative, and phenomenal ‘looks’ – and endorse and develop considerations in support of the view that these amount to polysemy. Focusing on the phenomenal use of ‘looks’, I then investigate connections between its semantics, the content of visual experience, and the metaphysics of looks. I argue that phenomenal ‘looks’ is not a propositional attitude operator: We do (...)
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  • Phenomenology Without Representation.Thomas Raleigh - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):1209-1237.
    I criticise a recent variety of argument for the representational theory of experience, which holds that the very idea of perceptual experience entails the representational view. I argue that the representational view is not simply obvious, nor is it contained in the mere idea of the world looking some way. I also clarify and re-present an argument against the representational view due to Charles Travis.
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  • Property-Awareness and Representation.Ivan Ivanov - 2017 - Topoi 36 (2):331-342.
    Is property-awareness constituted by representation or not? If it were, merely being aware of the qualities of physical objects would involve being in a representational state. This would have considerable implications for a prominent view of the nature of successful perceptual experiences. According to naïve realism, any such experience—or more specifically its character—is fundamentally a relation of awareness to concrete items in the environment. Naïve realists take their view to be a genuine alternative to representationalism, the view on which the (...)
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  • In Defense of Perceptual Content.Susanna Schellenberg - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):409-447.
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  • The Contents of Perception and the Contents of Emotion.Bill Wringe - 2014 - Noûs 48 (1):275-297.
    Several philosophers think there are important analogies between emotions and perceptual states. Furthermore, considerations about the rational assessibility of emotions have led philosophers—in some cases, the very same philosophers—to think that the content of emotions must be propositional content. If one finds it plausible that perceptual states have propositional contents, then there is no obvious tension between these views. However, this view of perception has recently been attacked by philosophers who hold that the content of perception is object-like. I shall (...)
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  • Therapeutic Reflections on Our Bipolar History of Perception.Robert Pasnau - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (4):253-284.
    The long history of theorizing about perception divides into two quite distinct and irreconcilable camps, one that takes sensory experience to show us external reality just as it is, and one that takes such experience to reveal our own mind. I argue that we should reject both sides of this debate, and admit that the phenomenal character of experience, as such, reveals little about the nature of the external world and even less about the mind.
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  • Ecumenicism, Comparability, and Color, Or: How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too.Jonathan Cohen - 2015 - Minds and Machines 25 (2):149-175.
    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.
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  • Perception and Computation.Jonathan Cohen - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):96-124.
    Students of perception have long puzzled over a range of cases in which perception seems to tell us distinct, and in some sense conflicting, things about the world. In the cases at issue, the perceptual system is capable of responding to a single stimulus — say, as manifested in the ways in which subjects sort that stimulus — in different ways. This paper is about these puzzling cases, and about how they should be characterized and accounted for within a general (...)
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