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Does Perception Have Content?$
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Berit Brogaard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756018.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 September 2021

What Does Vision Represent?

What Does Vision Represent?

(p.311) 13 What Does Vision Represent?
Does Perception Have Content?

William G. Lycan

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses each of two interlocking issues: its title question, and the Representational theory of phenomenal color and other sensory qualities. It surveys a range of positions on the first of those, from the very conservative to the very liberal, and a number of arguments for some of them. It argues pessimistically that philosophical argument is unlikely to settle the matter. The best such argument is Suanna Siegel’s, based on her ‘method of phenomenal contrast’, but it is inconclusive. And the issue is complicated by recent ‘layering’ views of perception, according to which visual states have multiple layers of representational content. Then the chapter points out that the Representational theory is to some extent hostage to that issue: Recent alleged counterexamples to the theory are based on aspect-perception and on attentional phenomena. It may be that in order to handle those counterexamples, the theory must take one of the very liberal positions, without defense.

Keywords:   vision, representation, sensory qualities, phenomenal contrast, layered perception, aspect-perception

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