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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: 22 September 2021

Disjunctivism, Discrimination, and Categorization

Disjunctivism, Discrimination, and Categorization

(p.179) 7 Disjunctivism, Discrimination, and Categorization
Does Perception Have Content?

Diana Raffman

Oxford University Press

The chapter has several goals. First, it exposes some misconceptions about the perceptual indiscriminability relation as it figures in recent treatments (pro and con) of disjunctivism by M. G. F. Martin (2004, 2006) and Susanna Siegel (2004). In particular, it draws upon some experimental results that cast doubt upon their contention that indiscriminability is nontransitive. It then proposes a different, more plausible understanding of the (in)discriminability relation and its relata. The most important insight here is that, contra Martin and Siegel, only external stimuli, not mental states or experiences, can stand in relations of (in)discriminability to one another. Experiences can be phenomenally the same or different, but not discriminable or indiscriminable. This insight enables a new conception of so-called phenomenal continua and, as against some other theorists, counts in favor of their existence. Even if worries about nontransitivity can be set aside, however, the indiscriminability relation probably cannot do the philosophical work that Martin’s disjunctivist asks of it. At the end the chapter suggests an alternative account of the commonality among veridical perceptions, hallucinations, and illusions—an account that may satisfy the disjunctivist’s needs without appealing to indiscriminability.

Keywords:   common-kind theorist, categorization, disjunctivism, hue cancellation, indiscriminability, magnitude estimation, non-transitivity, phenomenal continua, phenomenal qualities, unnoticed changes

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