European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):412-425 (2019)

The idea that perceptual experience is transparent is generally used by naïve realists and externalist representationalists to promote an externalist account of the metaphysics of perceptual experience. It is claimed that the phenomenal character of our perceptual experience can be explained solely with reference to the externally located objects and properties which (for the representationalist) we represent, or which (for the naïve realist) partly constitute our experience. Internalist qualia theorists deny this, and claim that the phenomenal character of our perceptual experience is internally constituted. However, my concern in this paper is not with the metaphysical debate, but with transparency as a phenomenological feature of perceptual experience. Qualia theorists have presented a number of examples of perceptual experiences which, they claim, do not even seem to be transparent; these experiences involve objects or properties which seem to be internally realized. I argue, contrary to the qualia theorist’s claim, that the phenomenal character of perceptual experience can in fact be characterized solely with reference to externally located objects and properties, and the sense in which some features of our perceptual experiences do not seem external is due to cognitive, not perceptual, phenomenology.
Keywords Perception  Perceptual Experience  Transparency  Qualia Theories  Blur  After-images  Perky Experiment
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/ejop.12427
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 65,599
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Intrinsic Quality of Experience.Gilbert Harman - 1990 - Philosophical Perspectives 4:31-52.
Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
The Transparency of Experience.Michael G. F. Martin - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (4):376-425.
Seeing‐As in the Light of Vision Science.Ned Block - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):560-572.

View all 50 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Problem of Perception.Tim Crane & Craig French - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Blur and interoceptive vision.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3271-3289.
A New Theory of Absence Experience.Laura Gow - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):168-181.
Selectionism and Diaphaneity.Paweł Jakub Zięba - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-31.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Perceptual Confidence.John Morrison - 2016 - Analytic Philosophy 57 (1):15-48.
The Sensory Content of Perceptual Experience.Jacob Berger - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (4):446-468.
Temporally Token-Reflexive Experiences.Uriah Kriegel - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (4):585-617.
An Argument Against Disjunctivism.Jan Almang - 2013 - In Christer Svennerlind, Jan Almäng & Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson (eds.), Johanssonian Investigations. Essays in Honour of Ingvar Johansson on His Seventieth Birthday. Ontos Verlag. pp. 5--15.
The Argument From Animal and Infant Perception.Eva Schmidt - 2010 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):97-110.
The Transparency of Mind.Sarah K. Paul - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):295-303.
How to Be an Objectivist About Colour.Frank Jackson - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (5):819-831.
The Epistemic Significance of Experience.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:947-67.
Emotion as a Basis of Belief.Monica Holland - 1989 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 35 (1):67-71.
Emotion as a Basis of Belief.Monica Holland - 1989 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 35 (1):67-71.
Liberalism and Conservatism in the Epistemology of Perceptual Belief.Ram Neta - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):685-705.


Added to PP index

Total views
90 ( #123,104 of 2,462,140 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #78,513 of 2,462,140 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes