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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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The Normative Nature of Perceptual Experience

The Normative Nature of Perceptual Experience

(p.146) 7 The Normative Nature of Perceptual Experience
Perceiving the World

Sean D. Kelly

Oxford University Press

When we perceive an object or one of its properties, it is natural to think that the perception involves a representation of the thing or property seen. This paper argues that perception necessarily involves more. In particular, perceptual experience already involves a kind of normative self-referentiality. That is to say, it is part of the very experience of the size, shape, or color of an object, for example, that I am drawn to improve the experience by changing the distance to or angle of presentation of the object, or the lighting context in which it is seen. Perception, in other words, already involves a normative engagement with the object perceived.

Keywords:   perception, experience, normativity, appearance, normative self-referentiality, Gestalt, Merleau-Ponty, sense-data

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