Seeing Things as They Are: A Theory of Perception

Hardcover | February 4, 2015

byJohn Searle

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This book provides a comprehensive account of the intentionality of perceptual experience. With special emphasis on vision Searle explains how the raw phenomenology of perception sets the content and the conditions of satisfaction of experience. The central question concerns the relationbetween the subjective conscious perceptual field and the objective perceptual field. Everything in the objective field is either perceived or can be perceived. Nothing in the subjective field is perceived nor can be perceived precisely because the events in the subjective field consist of theperceivings , whether veridical or not, of the events in the objective field.Searle begins by criticizing the classical theories of perception and identifies a single fallacy, what he calls the Bad Argument, as the source of nearly all of the confusions in the history of the philosophy of perception. He next justifies the claim that perceptual experiences have presentationalintentionality and shows how this justifies the direct realism of his account. In the central theoretical chapters, he shows how it is possible that the raw phenomenology must necessarily determine certain form of intentionality. Searle introduces, in detail, the distinction between different levelsof perception from the basic level to the higher levels and shows the internal relation between the features of the experience and the states of affairs presented by the experience. The account applies not just to language possessing human beings but to infants and conscious animals. He alsodiscusses how the account relates to certain traditional puzzles about spectrum inversion, color and size constancy and the brain-in-the-vat thought experiments. In the final chapters he explains and refutes Disjunctivist theories of perception, explains the role of unconscious perception, andconcludes by discussing traditional problems of perception such as skepticism.

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This book provides a comprehensive account of the intentionality of perceptual experience. With special emphasis on vision Searle explains how the raw phenomenology of perception sets the content and the conditions of satisfaction of experience. The central question concerns the relationbetween the subjective conscious perceptual field...

John R. Searle is Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. His previous publications include Making the Social World (2010) and Mind: A Brief introduction (2004), both from Oxford University Press.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:February 4, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199385157

ISBN - 13:9780199385157

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Table of Contents

Preface1. The Bad ArgumentAppendix A to Chapter 1: Summary of the Theory of IntentionalityAppendix B to Chapter 1: Consciousness2. The Intentionality of Perceptual Experiences3. Further Developments of the Argument Against the Bad Argument4. How Perceptual Intentionality Works I: Basic Features, Causation, and Intentional Content5. How Perceptual Intentionality Works II: Extending the Analysis to Non-basic Features6. Disjunctivism7. Unconscious Perception8. Classical Theories of Perception