The Contents of Visual Experience by Susanna Siegel

The Contents of Visual Experience

bySusanna Siegel

Paperback | August 10, 2012

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What do we see? We are visually conscious of colors and shapes, but are we also visually conscious of complex properties such as being John Malkovich? In this book, Susanna Siegel develops a framework for understanding the contents of visual experience, and argues that these contents involveall sorts of complex properties. Siegel starts by analyzing the notion of the contents of experience, and by arguing that theorists of all stripes should accept that experiences have contents. She then introduces a method for discovering the contents of experience: the method of phenomenal contrast.This method relies only minimally on introspection, and allows rigorous support for claims about experience. She then applies the method to make the case that we are conscious of many kinds of properties, of all sorts of causal properties, and of many other complex properties. She goes on to use themethod to help analyze difficult questions about our consciousness of objects and their role in the contents of experience, and to reconceptualize the distinction between perception and sensation. Siegel's results are important for many areas of philosophy, including the philosophy of mind,epistemology, and the philosophy of science. They are also important for the psychology and cognitive neuroscience of vision.

About The Author

Susanna Siegel is Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University.
The Rationality of Perception
The Rationality of Perception

by Susanna Siegel


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Title:The Contents of Visual ExperienceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:August 10, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199931240

ISBN - 13:9780199931248

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Seeing John MalkovichThe Content ViewWhy does it matter whether the Rich Content View is true?How can we decide whether the Rich Content View is truePart I: Contents1. Experiences1.1 States of seeing and phenomenal states1.2 Visual perceptual experiences2. The Content View2.1 Contents as accuracy conditions2.2 The Argument from Accuracy2.3 A flaw in the Argument from Accuracy2.4 The Argument from Appearing2.5 Two objections from 'looks', 'appears' and their cognates2.6 The significance of the Content View3. How Can We Discover the Contents of Experience?3.1 Introspection3.2 Naturalistic theories of content3.3 The method of phenomenal contrastPart II: Properties4. Kinds4.1 The examples4.2 The premises4.3 Content externalism5. Causation5.1 The Causal Thesis5.2 Michotte's results5.3 Unity in experience5.4 Non-causal contents5.5 Raw feels5.6 Non-sensory experiencesPart III: Objects6. The Role of Objects in the Contents of Experience6.1 Strong and Weak Veridicality6.2 The contents of states of seeing6.3 The contents of phenomenal states6.4 Phenomenal states: Internalism vs. Pure Disjunctivism6.5 Why Internalism?7. Subject and Object in the Contents of Experience7.1 Subject-independence and Perspectival Connectedness7.2 The Good and the Odd7.3 Complex contents7.4 Objections and replies8. The Strong Content View revisited

Editorial Reviews

"Siegel's book is an important contribution to the contemporary literature on the nature and structure of perception, particularly on the topic of what is sometimes called "the admissible contents of experience" (the question of which properties we experience in perception). It brings togetherseveral of her previously published papers on this topic in a systematic and updated form and relates this inquiry to debates about perceptual content. One of the interesting features of the book is that the notion of perceptual content is developed in such a way as to avoid many of the mostcontroversial issues in the recent literature on the question of whether perceptual experience is representational. This is not unintentional, because by arguing for a conception of perceptual content that she believes all theorists are obliged to accept, Siegel aims to provide a framework foraddressing questions about which properties figure in perception that is independent of other debates." --James Genone