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Matthen, Mohan, , . How Things Look (and What Things Look That Way)
2010, In Bence Nanay (ed.), Perceiving the World. Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Will Hornett

Abstract: What colour does a white wall look in the pinkish light of the late afternoon? What shape does a circular table look when you are standing next to it? These questions seem simple enough, but philosophers disagree sharply about them. In this paper, I attempt to provide a new approach to these questions, based on the idea that perception modifies our epistemic dispositions regarding specific environmental objects. I shall argue that by determining which object is involved in this way, we can determine the subject of visual predication. This enables us to parcel out visual features to different visual objects in a way that enables us to reconcile conflicting philosophical intuitions.

Comment: Matthen’s discussion of perceptual constancy is very clear and is centered on a philosophical analysis of the perceptual psychology. For this reason, it serves as a useful empirically informed companion to other philosophical discussions of perceptual constancy which are less empirically informed. It would be great in a third year or postgraduate course in Philosophy of Perception.

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Siegel, Susanna, , . Do Experiences Have Contents?
2010, In Bence -Nanay (ed.), Perceiving the World. Oxford University Press.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Will Hornett

Summary: This paper argues that despite the differences between perception and belief, perception involves states that are importantly similar to beliefs: conscious visual experiences. According to the Content View, these experiences have contents in the form of accuracy conditions. The paper develops and defends the Content View, discusses its significance, and argues that contrary to what is often supposed, the Content View is compatible with Naive Realist disjunctivism.

Comment: It is a fairly difficult paper because it has some technical sections and her main argument is rather dense. However, it is generally very clearly written, with numerous helpful examples, and a broad discussion of views on contemporary debate on perception. This paper could be used in a senior year or postgraduate course on the philosophy of perception as seminar reading since it is a detailed and controversial discussion of the metaphysics of perception. It has also been central to recent debates. It is is useful to teach alongside Thomas Raliegh’s “Phenomenology Without Representation” (2013).

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Siegel, Susanna, , . Do Visual Experiences have contents?
2010, in Nanay, Bence (eds.) Perceiving the World, Oxford University Press
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by:

Abstract: This paper argues that despite the differences between perception and belief, perception involves states that are importantly similar to beliefs: conscious visual experiences. According to the Content View, these experiences have contents in the form of accuracy conditions. The paper develops and defends the Content View, discusses its significance, and argues that contrary to what is often supposed, the Content View is compatible with Naive Realist disjunctivism.

Comment: This can be used as background reading for a course on epistemology of perception, insofar as the author presents clearly the Content View and its main implications (especially section 1).

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