Chapter

Vision and Experience: The Causal Theory and the Disjunctive Conception

William Child

in Causality, Interpretation, and the Mind

Published in print January 1996 | ISBN: 9780198236252
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597206 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198236255.003.0006

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Vision and Experience: The Causal Theory and the Disjunctive Conception

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Defends the causal theory of vision and the disjunctive conception of visual experience and argues that they can be coherently combined. Reasons are given for accepting the causal theory of vision and the disjunctive conception of experience. Then, an objection (due to Paul Snowdon) is set out, according to which the disjunctive conception undermines the causal theory, either (1) because the disjunctive conception is incompatible with the idea that visual experiences are caused by the objects we see or (2) because the disjunctive conception removes the main motivation for accepting a causal theory. Against this objection, it is shown how a disjunctive conception of experience can be combined with the causal theory. And it is argued that, even if we accept the disjunctive conception, the causal theory is still needed in order to understand two features of experiences: why they occur and how they have the objective content they do.

Keywords: causal theory; disjunctive conception; Snowdon; vision; visual experience

Chapter.  16441 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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