The Contents of Visual Experience

The Contents of Visual Experience

3.65 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 involve all 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 the method 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 234 pages
  • 141 x 216 x 14mm | 314g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0199931240
  • 9780199931248
  • 1,382,671

Table of contents

Introduction: Seeing John Malkovich ; The Content View ; Why does it matter whether the Rich Content View is true? ; How can we decide whether the Rich Content View is true? ; Part I: Contents ; Chapter 1: Experiences ; 1.1 States of seeing and phenomenal states ; 1.2 Visual perceptual experiences ; Chapter 2: The Content View ; 2.1 Contents as accuracy conditions ; 2.2 The Argument from Accuracy ; 2.3 A flaw in the Argument from Accuracy ; 2.4 The Argument from Appearing ; 2.5 Two objections from 'looks', 'appears' and their cognates ; 2.6 The significance of the Content View ; Chapter 3: How Can We Discover the Contents of Experience? ; 3.1 Introspection ; 3.2 Naturalistic theories of content ; 3.3 The method of phenomenal contrast ; Part II: Properties ; Chapter 4: Kinds ; 4.1 The examples ; 4.2 The premises ; 4.3 Content externalism ; Chapter 5: Causation ; 5.1 The Causal Thesis ; 5.2 Michotte's results ; 5.3 Unity in experience ; 5.4 Non-causal contents ; 5.5 Raw feels ; 5.6 Non-sensory experiences ; Part III: Objects ; Chapter 6: The Role of Objects in the Contents of Experience ; 6.1 Strong and Weak Veridicality ; 6.2 The contents of states of seeing ; 6.3 The contents of phenomenal states ; 6.4 Phenomenal states: Internalism vs. Pure Disjunctivism ; 6.5 Why Internalism? ; Chapter 7: Subject and Object in the Contents of Experience ; 7.1 Subject-independence and Perspectival Connectedness ; 7.2 The Good and the Odd ; 7.3 Complex contents ; 7.4 Objections and replies ; Chapter 8: The Strong Content View revisited
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Review quote

This is a clearly argued book that is well worth careful study. * Heather Logue, Mind * This is an impressive book. It is rich in powerful and thought-provoking arguments, stimulating ideas, astute observations and instructive examples. * Barry Maund, Analysis * this is a clearly argued book that is well worth careful study. Siegel offers us a way to get a handle on questions about visual content - the method of phenomenal contrast - that is considerably more promising than methods that have been hitherto employed. * Heather Logue, Mind *
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About Susanna Siegel

Susanna Siegel is Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University.
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Rating details

26 ratings
3.65 out of 5 stars
5 27% (7)
4 31% (8)
3 27% (7)
2 12% (3)
1 4% (1)
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