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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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Perceptual Recognition and the Feeling of Presence

Perceptual Recognition and the Feeling of Presence

(p.33) 3 Perceptual Recognition and the Feeling of Presence
Perceiving the World

Jérôme Dokic

Oxford University Press

This essay is about our perceptual ability to recognize familiar persons. The question is whether and to what extent our ordinary recognition judgments rely on perceptual experience as opposed to background beliefs. It argues that in order to give a proper answer to this question, we need to introduce a third character into the picture, namely the feeling of presence. Ordinary person recognition involves qualitative recognitional abilities, which (in the visual case) enable us to see that a particular person looks just like a familiar person, but also an independent causal mechanism which generates the feeling that the familiar person herself is present. When we recognize someone, we identify her (general) visual appearance, but we also feel her presence. Feelings of presence are essential contributions to the phenomenology of person recognition, but they do not supervene on perceptual content proper.

Keywords:   perception, recognition, face recognition, feelings of presence, Capgras’s syndrome, Fregoli’s syndrome

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