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Perceiving the World$
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Bence Nanay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195386196

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195386196.001.0001

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Philosophy of Perception

Philosophy of Perception

The New Wave

(p.3) 1 Philosophy of Perception
Perceiving the World

Bence Nanay

Oxford University Press

This introductory essay aims to explain why and in what way perception became a very central field of philosophical research by asking what questions contemporary philosophers of perception are concerned with and how they are different from the ‘old’ philosophical questions about perception. The answer is threefold. First, the questions contemporary philosophers of perception are concerned with are that they have intricate links to other subfields of philosophy: epistemology, philosophy of language, metaphysics, aesthetics, even value theory. To put it somewhat provocatively, philosophy of perception no longer seems to be merely a subfield of philosophy of mind. Second, rather than taking for granted that questions about perception are questions about representation, many contemporary philosophers of perception either question the concept of perceptual representation or try to clarify what this concept means. Finally, an important feature of the new way of arguing about philosophical questions concerning perception is that paying close attention to empirical findings about perception seems to be the norm, rather than the exception.

Keywords:   perception, disjunctivism, perceptual content, perceptual representation, philosophy of perception, vision science

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