Journal Article

Action and Self-Location in Perception

Susanna Schellenberg

in Mind

Published on behalf of Mind Association

Volume 116, issue 463, pages 603-632
Published in print July 2007 | ISSN: 0026-4423
Published online July 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2113 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mind/fzm603
Action and Self-Location in Perception

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  • Metaphysics
  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic
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I offer an explanation of how subjects are able to perceive the intrinsic spatial properties of objects, given that subjects always perceive from a particular location. The argument proceeds in two steps. First, I argue that a conception of space is necessary to perceive the intrinsic spatial properties of objects. This conception of space is spelled out by showing that perceiving intrinsic properties requires perceiving objects as the kind of things that are perceivable from other locations. Second, I show that having such a conception of space presupposes that a subject represent her location in relation to perceived objects. More precisely the thesis is that a subject represents her location as the location from which she both perceives objects and would act in relation to objects were she to act. So I argue that perception depends on the capacity to know what it would be to act in relation to objects.

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Subjects: Metaphysics ; Epistemology ; Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Language

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