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What It Is Like To PerceiveDirect Realism and the Phenomenal Character of Perception$
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J. Christopher Maloney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190854751

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190854751.001.0001

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Direct Realism and the Extended Mind

Direct Realism and the Extended Mind

(p.188) Chapter 7 Direct Realism and the Extended Mind
What It Is Like To Perceive

J. Christopher Maloney

Oxford University Press

Representationalism rightly treats perception as a type of cognitive representation. However, it wrongly proposes that perceptual content determines phenomenal character. Rather, it is the form, not the content, of a perceptual representation that constitutes phenomenal character. For direct realism is true: Perception is that form of cognition in which representation and represented are the same. Other forms of cognition recruit representations that are distinct from what they represent. In contrast, perceptual representation extends the mind's reach into the world by casting the very object perceived in the role of a self-referential demonstrative. By fusing representation and represented perception provides direct acquaintance with what is seen exactly as it is seen to be and thus determines phenomenal character.

Keywords:   content, demonstrative self-reference, direct acquaintance, direct realism, extended mind, perceptual representation, representationalism, phenomenal character

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