Many take the possibility of hallucinations to imply that a relationalist account, according to which perceptual experiences are constituted by direct relations to ordinary mind-independent objects, is false. The common reaction among relationalists is to adopt a disjunctivist view that denies that hallucinations have the same nature as perceptual experiences. This paper proposes a non-disjunctivist response to the argument from hallucination by arguing that the alleged empirical and a priori evidence in support of the possibility of hallucinations is inconclusive. A (...) corollary upshot of the article is that whether hallucinations are possible or not is still an open empirical question. (shrink)
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.
This paper argues that a common form of representationalism has trouble accommodating empirical findings about visual space perception. Vision science tells us that the visual system systematically gives rise to different experiences of the same spatial property. This, combined with a naturalistic account of content, suggests that the same spatial property can have different veridical looks. I use this to argue that a common form of representationalism about spatial experience must be rejected. I conclude by considering alternatives to this view.
Perceptual experience has the phenomenal character of encountering a mind-independent objective world. What we encounter in perceptual experience is not presented to us as a state of our own mind. Rather, we seem to encounter facts, objects, and properties that are independent from our mind. In short, perceptual experience has phenomenal objectivity. This paper proposes and defends a Kantian account of phenomenal objectivity that grounds it in experiences of lawlike regularities. The paper offers a novel account of the connection between (...) phenomenology and intentionality. It also sheds some light on one of the central themes in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. (shrink)
It is common to hold that our conscious experiences at a single moment are often unified. But when consciousness is unified, what are the fundamental facts in virtue of which it is unified? On some accounts of the unity of consciousness, the most fundamental fact that grounds unity is a form of singularity or oneness. These accounts are similar to Newtonian views of space according to which the most fundamental fact that grounds relations of co-spatiality between various points (or regions) (...) of a space is the fact that these points (or regions) are parts of the same single space. In this paper, I sketch and defend an alternative account of unity of consciousness. Very roughly, the view holds that experiences are unified when they are connected in the right way. In this respect, the view is analogous to Leibnizian views of space according to which the oneness of space emerges from certain conditions over spatial relations. The Leibnizian alternative has significant implications for our understanding of the metaphysics of conscious experience, the cognitive architecture of the mind and our assessment of the conditions under which unity of consciousness breaks. (shrink)
The goal of this paper is to raise a few questions about Bayne s mereological account of the unity of consciousness. In Section 1, I raise a few clarificatory questions about the account and the thesis that consciousness is necessarily unified. In Sections 2 and 3, I offer an alternative view of unity of consciousness and contrast it with Bayne's view. I call this view the connectivity account. These sections prepare the ground for the main question of this article: why (...) should we prefer Bayne's mereological view to the connectivity view? (shrink)
Some theorists hold that the human perceptual system has a component that receives input only from units lower in the perceptual hierarchy. This thesis, that we shall here refer to as the encapsulation thesis, has been at the center of a continuing debate for the past few decades. Those who deny the encapsulation thesis often rely on the large body of psychological findings that allegedly suggest that perception is influenced by factors such as the beliefs, desires, goals, and the expectations (...) of the perceiver. Proponents of the encapsulation thesis, however, often argue that, when correctly interpreted, these psychological findings are compatible with the thesis. In our view, the debate over the significance and the correct interpretation of these psychological findings has reached an impasse. We hold that this impasse is due to the methodological limitations over psychophysical experiments, and it is very unlikely that such experiments, on their own, could yield results that would settle the debate. After defending this claim, we argue that integrating data from cognitive neuroscience resolves the debate in favor of those who deny the encapsulation thesis. (shrink)
: This essay has two goals. The goal of the first section is to raise a few clarificatory questions about the exact contour of Crane’s account of intentionality, its relation to phenomenology, and his motivation for it. The second section aims to describe a general worry about programs that combine a broadly anti-externalist outlook on intentionality with the idea that there is an intimate connection between phenomenology and intentionality. I argue that programs like this either suffer from a problem that (...) I call intentional luck or, in the attempt to avoid this problem, have to weaken the connection between intentionality and phenomenology. Since Crane’s general outlook falls under this program, it is subject to this worry. Keywords : Intentionality; Phenomenal Intentionalism; Externalism; Phenomenal Experience; Veridical Experience Riconsiderare l’intenzionalità fenomenica Riassunto : Questo articolo persegue due obiettivi. Quello della prima sezione è sollevare alcuni problemi di classificazione circa i confini specifici della descrizione di Crane dell’intenzionalità, il suo rapporto con la fenomenologia e le ragioni che la supportano. La seconda sezione mira a descrivere una obiezione generale ai programmi che combinano una prospettiva sull’intenzionalità di carattere ampiamente anti-esternalista con l’idea secondo cui ci sarebbe un legame stretto tra fenomenologia e intenzionalità. Intendo sostenere che programmi di questo genere offrono il fianco a un problema che chiamerò fortuna intenzionalista oppure, per evitare questo problema, devono indebolire il nesso tra intenzionalità e fenomenologia. Dal momento che la prospettiva generale di Crane ricade in questo programma, è soggetta a questa obiezione. Parole chiave : Intentionalità; Intenzionalismo fenomenico; Esternismo; Esperienza fenomenica; Veridicità dell’esperienza. (shrink)
An ambitious project in epistemology is to show that we have justification for anti-skeptical beliefs such as the belief that we are not brains in vats. A much less ambitious project is to account for how perceptual experience justifies ordinary perceptual beliefs like the belief that there is a cat in front of me. One problem is that these two projects are entangled in such manner that the failure of the anti-skeptical project seems to entail the failure of the project (...) of accounting for the justification of ordinary perceptual beliefs. This paper offers a way to disentangle these two projects. (shrink)