Dave Ward
University of Edinburgh
The transparency of perceptual experience has been invoked in support of many views about perception. I argue that it supports a form of enactivism—the view that capacities for perceptual experience and for intentional agency are essentially interdependent. I clarify the perceptual phenomenon at issue, and argue that enactivists should expect to find a parallel instance of transparency in our agentive experience, and that the two forms of transparency are constitutively interdependent. I then argue that i) we do indeed find such parallels: the way in which an action is directed towards its goal through our bodily movements parallels the way in which an experience is directed towards its object through our perceptual sensation, and ii) reflecting on sensorimotor skills shows why the two instances of transparency are constitutively interdependent. Section 4 gives reasons for generalizing beyond the cases considered so far by applying the enactive view to Kohler's landmark studies of perceptual adaptation. The final section clarifies the form of enactivism to which the previous sections point. The view that emerges is one whereby our perceptual and practical skills are interrelated aspects of a single capacity to have one's mind intentionally directed upon the world. The transparency of experience, on this view, is achieved in virtue of our capacities as agents as much as it is given in virtue of our capacities as perceivers.
Keywords Enactivism  Transparency  Perceptual Adaptation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/phpr.12188
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: 64,046
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.

View all 70 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Accounting for the Specious Present: A Defense of Enactivism.Kaplan Hasanoglu - 2018 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 39 (3):181-204.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Seeing-In a Transparency Effect?Michael Newall - 2015 - British Journal of Aesthetics 55 (2):131-156.
Qualia, Introspection, and Transparency.Renee Janelle Smith - 2002 - Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder
What’s so Transparent About Transparency?Amy Kind - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (3):225-244.
Heirs of Nothing: The Implications of Transparency.Matthew Kennedy - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):574-604.
Scents and Sensibilia.Clare Batty - 2010 - American Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2):103-118.
Transparency and Imagining Seeing.Fabian Dorsch - 2010 - Philosophical Explorations 13 (3):173-200.
Perception and Action: The Taste Test.Alessandra Tanesini & Richard Gray - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (241):718-734.
Sensorimotor Enactivism and Temporal Experience.David Silverman - 2013 - Adaptive Behavior 21 (3):151-158.
Aristotle on Transparency.Mark Eli Kalderon - forthcoming - In Thomas Crowther & Clare Mac Cumhail (eds.), Perceptual Ephemera.


Added to PP index

Total views
83 ( #130,987 of 2,454,490 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #84,158 of 2,454,490 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes