Phenomenal Presence

Oxford University Press
Free sample

Many different features of the world figure consciously in our perceptual experiences, in the sense that they make a subjective difference to those experiences. These features are thought to range from colours and shapes, to volumes and backsides, from natural or artefactual kinds, to reasons for perceptual belief, and from the existence and externality of objects, to the relationality and wakeful-ness of our perceptual awareness of them. Phenomenal Presence explores the different ways in which features like these may be phenomenally present in perceptual experience. In particular, it focuses on features that are rarely discussed, and the perceptual presence of which is more controversial or less obvious because they are out of view or otherwise easily overlooked; for example, they are given in a non-sensory manner, or they are categorical in the sense that they feature in all perceptual experiences (such as their justificatory power, their wakefulness, or the externality of their objects). The book divides into four parts, each dealing with a different kind of phenomenal presence. The first addresses the nature of the presence of perceptual constancies and variations, while the second investigates the determinacy and ubiquity of the presence of spatial properties in perception. The third part deals with the presence of hidden or occluded aspects of objects, while part four discusses the presence of categorical aspects of perceptual experience. The contributions provide a thorough examination of which features are phenomenally present in perception, and what it is for them to figure in experience in this way.
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About the author

Fabian Dorsch was Research Professor in Philosophy at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and the Director of the EXRE Centre of Research for Mind and Normativity, where he ran two research projects: The Normative Mind and The Aesthetic Mind. The main foci of his research were interrelated issues in aesthetics, the philosophy of mind, epistemology, and the philosophy of normativity, notably meta-ethics. He published a monograph on The Unity of Imagining in 2012 (De Gruyter). He was an associate editor of the journal Dialectica and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Estetika: the Central European Journal of Aesthetics. Fiona Macpherson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, where she is also director of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Her work concerns the nature of consciousness, perception and perceptual experience, introspection, imagination and the metaphysics of mind. She has written on the nature of the senses, on cognitive penetration, and illusion and hallucination. She has published previous edited collections: Hallucination (MIT Press 2013, with Dimitris Platchais), The Senses (OUP 2011), The Admissible Contents of Experience (Wiley-Blackwell 2011, with Katherine Hawley), and Disjunctivism (OUP 2008, with Adrian Haddock).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
May 24, 2018
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9780191644450
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Epistemology
Philosophy / Metaphysics
Philosophy / Mind & Body
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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What are phenomenal qualities, the qualities of conscious experiences? How do the phenomenal aspects of conscious experiences relate to brain processes? To what extent do experiences represent the things around us, or the states of our own bodies? Are phenomenal qualities subjective, belonging to inner mental episodes of some kind, and merely dependent on our brains? Or should they be seen as objective, belonging in some way to the physical things in the world around us? Are they physical properties at all? The problematic nature of phenomenal qualities makes it hard to understand how the mind is related to the physical world. There is no settled view about these issues, which concern some of the deepest, and most central, problems in philosophy. Fourteen original papers, written by a team of distinguished philosophers and psychologists and set in context by a full introduction, explore the ways in which phenomenal qualities fit in with our understanding of mind and reality. The topics covered include: phenomenal concepts, the relation of sensory qualities to the modalities, the limits of current theories about physical matter; problems about the nature of perceptual experience, projectivism, and the extent to which perception is direct; non-conceptual content, the representational nature of pain experience, and the phenomenology of thought; and issues relating to empirical work on synaesthesia, psychological theories of attention, and prospects for unifying the phenomenal array with neurophysiological accounts of the brain. This volume offers an indispensable resource for anyone wishing to understand the nature of conscious experience.
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