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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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Why Explain Visual Experience in Terms of Content?

Why Explain Visual Experience in Terms of Content?

(p.254) 10 Why Explain Visual Experience in Terms of Content?
Perceiving the World

Adam Pautz

Oxford University Press

The standard arguments for explaining visual experience in terms of intentional content are based on the transparency observation, physicalism about the mind, or on the analysis of statements describing how things look. I believe that the standard arguments fail. In my view, there is no quick and easy argument for the intentional view. Nevertheless I believe that there is an argument to be made for the intentional view of visual experience. It takes the form of an inference to the best explanation. Both veridical and nonveridical visual experiences can ground the capacity to have beliefs about the external world. Visual experiences, like beliefs and other standard intentional states, can be indeterminate and depict impossible scenarios. The best explanation of these and other features of visual experience, I will argue, is that both veridical and nonveridical experiences are themselves intentional states of a kind more basic than belief.

Keywords:   Visual experience, intentionalism, disjunctivism, sensationalism, qualia, common factor, hallucination, content

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