The Content of Perceptual Experience

Michelle Montague

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780199262618
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 The Content of Perceptual Experience

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  • Philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Mind


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Our waking life involves a constant stream of perceptual experience. But what is it, exactly? What is the content of perceptual experience? This is a very difficult question to answer satisfactorily, and it has been made a great deal more difficult by the fact that almost all the key terms in the debate have been used in different ways, and sometimes in mutually incompatible ways. This article begins by establishing some basic points and terms of discussion, and asking readers to pay careful attention to the use the article gives to terms, which may not be the same as their own preferred use. It treats the notion of perceptual experience as non-factive, unlike the notion of perception, and lacking the causal implication of the notion of perception.

Keywords: perceptual experience; waking life; notion of perception; phenomenology; sensory experience; intentionality

Article.  8831 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Epistemology ; Philosophy of Mind

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