Experiential Objectivity

Naomi Eilan

in Perception, Causation, and Objectivity

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199692040
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729713 | DOI:

Series: Consciousness & Self-Consciousness Series

Experiential Objectivity

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Contra sense datum theories, most philosophers hold that perceptions have immediate ‘objective import'. How should the possession by a perception of such import be explained? The paper suggests that two important dimensions along which accounts of perceptual objectivity divide turn on answers to the following questions. (1) The Division of Labour Question: should the full content of our commonsense realism about the world we perceive be thought of as part of the actual content of perception itself or something the theorist of perception assumes? (2) The Consciousness Question: is it possible to derive explanations of the objectivity of conscious perceptions from an account of the objectivity possessed by non-conscious perceptions? The paper argues that a relational theory of perceptual consciousness delivers a negative answer (with Burge and contra Strawson) to the first, and a negative answer(with Strawson and contra Burge) to the second, exploiting the key insights in each of these philosophers approaches.

Keywords: perceptual objectivity; commonsense realism; perceptual consciousness; blindsight; relational theory; Strawson; Burge

Chapter.  9017 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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