The Contents of Visual Experience

By Susanna Siegel | Go to book overview

PART III
OBJECTS

SO FAR, WE’VE BEEN DISCUSSING WHICH PROPERTIES ARE REPRESENTED in visual experience by asking which properties figure in the contents of such experience, where contents are a kind of accuracy condition. But we’ve largely ignored the role of the objects we see in experience. What roles in experiences do these objects play? We can ask more specifically about the role of objects in experiences generally, their role in experiential contents, and their role in phenomenal character. There are four main questions.

Q1*. Are any experiences individuated by the objects we see?

The distinctions we drew in chapter 1 between broad and narrow classes of experience bear on this question. Suppose that you see Franco and he looks sad to you. This state of seeing is individuated in part by Franco. When we ask the same question about phenomenal states, the answer is not settled by any thesis we have defended so far. So our first question is Q1:

Q1. Are any phenomenal states individuated by the objects we
see?

The Content View and the Rich Content View are neutral on Q1. Chapter 6 argues that the answer to Q1 is no. The phenomenal state you are in when you see Franco and he looks sad to you is not individuated by Franco. If so, I’ll argue, then Naïve Realism (in both its standard and radical forms) is false. However, this conclusion is independent of both the Content View and the Rich Content View, and of our defenses of them.

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The Contents of Visual Experience
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Philosophy of Mind Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Table of Contents ix
  • Introduction 3
  • Part I- Contents 17
  • Chapter 1- Experiences 19
  • Chapter 2- The Content View 27
  • Chapter 3- How Can We Discover the Contents of Experience? 77
  • Part II- Properties 97
  • Chapter 4- Kinds 99
  • Chapter 5- The Visual Experience of Causation 117
  • Part III- Objects 141
  • Chapter 6- The Role of Objects in Visual Experience 145
  • Chapter 7- Subject and Object in the Contents of Experience 175
  • Chapter 8- The Strong Content View Revisited 207
  • References 211
  • Index 220
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