Perceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory

Oxford University Press
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In Perceptual Imagination and Perceptual Memory a group of distinguished contributors examine how perceptual imagination and memory resemble and differ from each other and from other kinds of sensory experience.They question the role each plays in perception and in the acquisition of knowledge. The collection discusses the epistemic roles that the imagination and memory play in our mental lives. It pushes forward the debates about the nature of perceptual imagination and perceptual memory. This innovative study will encourage future discussions on these interesting topics by students and scholars in the field. This volume presents ten new essays on the nature of perceptual imagination and perceptual memory, framed by an introductory overview of these topics. How do perceptual imagination and memory resemble and differ from each other and from other kinds of sensory experience? And what role does each play in perception and in the acquisition of knowledge? These are the two central questions that the contributors seek to address.
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About the author

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). 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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
May 31, 2018
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780192548566
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Epistemology
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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Perception is our key to the world. It plays at least three different roles in our lives. It justifies beliefs and provides us with knowledge of our environment. It brings about conscious mental states. It converts informational input, such as light and sound waves, into representations of invariant features in our environment. Corresponding to these three roles, there are at least three fundamental questions that have motivated the study of perception. How does perception justify beliefs and yield knowledge of our environment? How does perception bring about conscious mental states? How does a perceptual system accomplish the feat of converting varying informational input into mental representations of invariant features in our environment? This book presents a unified account of the phenomenological and epistemological role of perception that is informed by empirical research. So it develops an account of perception that provides an answer to the first two questions, while being sensitive to scientific accounts that address the third question. The key idea is that perception is constituted by employing perceptual capacities - for example the capacity to discriminate instances of red from instances of blue. Perceptual content, consciousness, and evidence are each analyzed in terms of this basic property of perception. Employing perceptual capacities constitutes phenomenal character as well as perceptual content. The primacy of employing perceptual capacities in perception over their derivative employment in hallucination and illusion grounds the epistemic force of perceptual experience. In this way, the book provides a unified account of perceptual content, consciousness, and evidence.
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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