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  1. The Role of Spatial Appearances in Achieving Spatial-Geometric Perceptual Constancy.David J. Bennett - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):1-41.
    Long tradition in philosophy and in empirical psychology has it that the perceptual recovery of enduring objective size and shape proceeds through initial spatial appearance experiences—like the sensed changing visual field size of a receding car, or the shifting shape appearance of a coin as it rotates in depth. The present paper carefully frames and then critically examines such proposals. It turns out that these are contingent, empirical matters, requiring close examination of relevant research in perception science in order to (...)
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  2. Depiction, Pictorial Experience, and Vision Science.Robert Briscoe - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):43-81.
    Pictures are 2D surfaces designed to elicit 3D-scene-representing experiences from their viewers. In this essay, I argue that philosophers have tended to underestimate the relevance of research in vision science to understanding the nature of pictorial experience. Both the deeply entrenched methodology of virtual psychophysics as well as empirical studies of pictorial space perception provide compelling support for the view that pictorial experience and seeing face-to-face are experiences of the same psychological, explanatory kind. I also show that an empirically informed (...)
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  3. Perceptual Appearances of Personality.Berit Brogaard - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):83-103.
    Perceptual appearances of personality can be highly inaccurate, for example, when they rely on race, masculinity, and attractiveness, factors that have little to do with personality, as well as when they are the result of perceiver effects, such as an idiosyncratic tendency to view others negatively. This raises the question of whether these types of appearances can provide immediate justification for our judgments about personality. I argue that there are three reasons that we should think that they can. The inaccuracy (...)
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  4. The Problem of Spatiality for a Relational View of Experience.John Campbell - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):105-120.
    It’s often said that relational view of experience can’t provide an explanation of mode of presentation phenomena: the idea is that if experience is characterized merely as a relation to an object, then we can’t make sense of the idea that one and the same object can be given in perception in many different ways. I show that we can address this problem by looking at the causal structure in relational experience. Experience of an object is caused by experience of (...)
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  5. Representationalism and Perceptual Organization.E. J. Green - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):121-148.
    Some philosophers have suggested that certain shifts in perceptual organization are counterexamples to representationalism about phenomenal character. Representationalism about phenomenal character is, roughly, the view that there can be no difference in the phenomenal character of experience without a difference in the representational content of experience. In this paper, I examine three of these alleged counterexamples: the dot array, the intersecting lines, and the 3 X 3 grid. I identify the two features of their phenomenology that call for explanation: grouping (...)
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  6. 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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  7.  2
    Perceptual Relativity.Christopher S. Hill - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):179-200.
    Visual experience is shaped by a number of factors that are independent of the external objects that we perceive—factors like lighting, angle of view, and the sensitivities of photoreceptors in the retina. This paper seeks to catalog, analyze, and explain the fluctuations in visual phenomenology that are due to such factors.
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  8.  3
    Does Experience Have Phenomenal Properties?Geoffrey Lee - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):201-230.
    What assumptions are built into the claim that experience has “phenomenal properties,” and could these assumptions turn out to be false? I consider the issue specifically for the similarity relations between experiences: for example, experiences of different shades of red are more similar to each other than an experience of red and an experience of green. It is commonly thought that we have a special kind of epistemic access to experience that is more secure than our access to the external (...)
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  9. The Skewed View From Here.Brian P. McLaughlin - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):231-299.
    The paper offers a partial, broad-stroke sketch of visual perception, and argues that certain kinds of normal visual misperceptions are systematic and widespread.
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  10.  1
    Visual Confidences and Direct Perceptual Justification.Jessie Munton - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):301-326.
    What kind of content must visual states have if they are to offer direct justification for our external world beliefs? How must they present that content if the degree of justification they provide is to reflect the nuance of our changing visual experiences? This paper offers an argument for the view that visual states comprise not only a content, but a confidence relation to that content. This confidence relation lets us explain how visual states can offer noninferential perceptual justification of (...)
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  11. Bayesian Perception Is Ecological Perception.Nico Orlandi - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):327-351.
    There is a certain excitement in vision science concerning the idea of applying the tools of bayesian decision theory to explain our perceptual capacities. Bayesian models are thought to be needed to explain how the inverse problem of perception is solved, and to rescue a certain constructivist and Kantian way of understanding the perceptual process. Anticlimactically, I argue both that bayesian outlooks do not constitute good solutions to the inverse problem, and that they are not constructivist in nature. In explaining (...)
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  12. Naive Realism and the Science of Illusions.Ian Phillips - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):353-380.
    Critics have long complained that naive realism cannot adequately account for perceptual illusion. This complaint has a tendency to ally itself with the aspersion that naive realism is hopelessly out of touch with vision science. Here I offer a partial reply to both complaint and aspersion. I do so by showing how careful reflection on a simple, empirically grounded model of illusion reveals heterodox ways of thinking about familiar illusions which are quite congenial to the naive realist.
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  13. Perceptual Veridicality.Robert Schwartz - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):381-403.
    The notion of veridicality has and continues to play a significant role in both the psychology and philosophy of perception. This paper raises questions about the very idea of perceptual veridicality. In particular, it examines the role the veridical/nonveridical distinction plays in our conception of visual illusions and visual constancies.
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  14.  2
    Cognitive Penetration, Imagining, and the Downgrade Thesis.Lu Teng - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (2):405-426.
    We tend to think that perceptual experiences tell us about what the external world is like without being influenced by our own mind. But recent psychological and philosophical research indicates that this might not be true. Our beliefs, expectations, knowledge, and other personal-level mental states might influence what we experience. This kind of psychological phenomena is now called “cognitive penetration.” The research of cognitive penetration not only has important consequences for psychology and the philosophy of mind, but also has interesting (...)
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  15. Self-Awareness and Cognitive Agency in Descartes’s Meditations.Lilli Alanen - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):3-26.
    There are two main strands in the afterlife of Descartes’s famous redefinition of mind in terms of thinking likely to color one’s reading of his notion of mind or self. The one stressed most by his posterity and developed from early on in the empiricist tradition sees consciousness as its main characteristic. The other focuses on reason and rationality. This paper discusses the textual support for the first reading promoted by Ryle and his followers and aligns itself with the second (...)
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  16. Expression and Self-Consciousness.Stina Bäckström - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):163-182.
    This article argues that nonverbal spontaneous expressions of mental states in human beings involve self-consciousness. We—language-using rational creatures—are capable of knowing our smiles, winces, and frustrated frowns in a self-conscious way. This distinguishes expressions from mere reflexes and mere physiological responses. Such a capacity is, further, essential to such forms of behavior. This is shown by the difficulty of constructing a coherent scenario where we—keeping our rational and conceptual capacities otherwise intact—can nonverbally express our mental states but where we lack (...)
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  17. Why Kant Is Not a Kantian.James Conant - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):75-125.
    A central debate in early modern philosophy, between empiricism and rationalism, turned on the question which of two cognitive faculties—sensibility or understanding—should be accorded logical priority in an account of the epistemic credentials of knowledge. As against both the empiricist and the rationalist, Kant wants to argue that the terms of their debate rest on a shared common assumption: namely that the capacities here in question—qua cognitive capacities—are self-standingly intelligible. The paper terms this assumption the Layer-Cake Conception of Human Mindedness (...)
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  18. Voluntarism, Intellectualism, and Anselm on Motivation.Tomas Ekenberg - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):59-74.
    According to the standard reading of Anselm’s De casu diaboli 12 through 14, the angels are morally responsible only if their own wills are in a radical way within their own power. By giving to angels two wills, i.e., two basic inclinations or volitional dispositions, Anselm’s God yields to the angels room for a free choice—indeed imparts on them the necessity of such a choice: in the case where an angel’s own happiness is incommensurable with justice, the angel must choose (...)
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  19. On What Is in Front of Your Nose.Anton Ford - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):141-161.
    The conclusion of practical reasoning is commonly said to rest upon a diverse pair of representations—a “major” and a “minor” premise—the first of which concerns the end and the second, the means. Modern and contemporary philosophers writing on action and practical reasoning tend to portray the minor premise as a “means-end belief”—a belief about, as Michael Smith puts it, “the ways in which one thing leads to another,” or, as John McDowell puts it, “what can be relied on to bring (...)
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  20. The Social Aspects of Aristotle’s Theory of Action.Dorothea Frede - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):39-57.
    Some contemporary philosophers of action have contended that the intentions, decisions, and actions of collective social agency are reducible to those of the individuals involved. This contention is based on two assumptions: that collective agency would require super-minds, and that actions presuppose causes that move our bodies. The problem of how to account for collective action had not been regarded as a problem in the history of philosophy earlier.The explanation of why ancient Greek philosophers did not see joint agency as (...)
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  21. Introduction.Martin Gustafsson - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):1-2.
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  22. Anscombe’s Bird, Wittgenstein’s Cat.Martin Gustafsson - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):207-237.
    This paper offers an interpretation of Anscombe’s account of animal versus human intention, and of her notorious claim that the expression of intention is purely conventional. It engages in a criticism of Richard Moran’s and Martin Stone’s recent exegesis of these views of Anscombe’s, and proposes an alternative reading which explains how she can accept both that speechless brutes have intentions and that human intention is essentially linguistic.
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  23. Film Noir and Weakly Intentional Actions.Hallén Elinor - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):239-264.
    Human agency is typically thought of as intentional, purposeful, reflective and, in many cases, autonomous. This paper discusses human agency that is compromised in some of these respects, and actions that are actions only in a qualified sense. The object of study is the agency of the leading character, Jeff, in the film noir Out of the Past, and Elizabeth Anscombe’s Intention is the primary source in analyzing Jeff’s behavior.Two excerpts from the film are presented and analyzed. The analysis of (...)
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  24. Stoutland Vs. Metaphysics.Lars Hertzberg - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):287-298.
    In his essay “Analytic Philosophy and Metaphysics,” Frederick Stoutland argues that an unspoken metaphysical spirit underlies much of twentieth-century analytic philosophy, in spite of the fact that the word “metaphysics” has had a pejorative ring. The metaphysical habit of mind results in an activity which at best is an unproductive diversion, at worst a dialectical illusion, making claims which only appear to be truth-evaluable. I agree with Stoutland’s diagnosis, which is inspired by Wittgenstein, Georg Henrik von Wright, and Cora Diamond, (...)
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  25. Why an Aristotelian Account of Truth Is All We Need.Jeff Malpas - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):27-38.
    This paper advances an account of truth that has as its starting point Aristotle’s comments about truth at Metaphysics 1011b1. It argues that there are two key ideas in the Aristotelian account: that truth belongs to ‘sayings that’; and that truth involves both what is said and what is. Beginning with the second of these apparent truisms, the paper argues for the crucial role of the distinction between ‘what is said’ and ‘what is’ in the understanding of truth, on the (...)
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  26. Bodily Movement and Its Significance.Will Small - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):183-206.
    I trace the development of one aspect of Fred Stoutland’s thought about action by considering the central role given by contemporary philosophy of action to bodily movement. Those who tell the so-called standard story of action think that actions are bodily movements caused by beliefs and desires, that cause further effects in the world in virtue of which they can be described. Those who hold a disjunctive conception of bodily movement think that actions are bodily movements that involve intentions essentially, (...)
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  27. Theory, Interpretation, and Law.Lisa Van Alstyne - 2016 - Philosophical Topics 44 (1):265-286.
    This paper explores Ronald Dworkin’s influential theory of constructive interpretation. It points out that this theory admits of two readings, which I call the “undemanding” and the “demanding” conceptions of constructive interpretation respectively. As I argue, Dworkin’s own presentation of the theory equivocates between these two conceptions, the former of which is utterly unproblematic, but the latter of which incorporates certain philosophical prejudices as to what it must mean for a practice to be purposive.
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