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Perceiving the world outside: How to solve the distality problem for informational teleosemantics


Schulte, Peter (2018). Perceiving the world outside: How to solve the distality problem for informational teleosemantics. Philosophical Quarterly, 68(271):349-369.

Abstract

Perceptual representations have distal content: they represent external objects and their properties, not light waves or retinal images. This basic fact presents a fundamental problem for ‘input-oriented’ theories of perceptual content. As I show in the first part of this paper, this even holds for what is arguably the most sophisticated input-oriented theory to date, namely Karen Neander's informational teleosemantics. In the second part of the paper, I develop a new version of informational teleosemantics, drawing partly on empirical psychology, and partly on philosophical considerations. I shall argue that this version has all the virtues of Neander's original theory, but also the further crucial advantage of being able to account for the distality of perceptual content.

Abstract

Perceptual representations have distal content: they represent external objects and their properties, not light waves or retinal images. This basic fact presents a fundamental problem for ‘input-oriented’ theories of perceptual content. As I show in the first part of this paper, this even holds for what is arguably the most sophisticated input-oriented theory to date, namely Karen Neander's informational teleosemantics. In the second part of the paper, I develop a new version of informational teleosemantics, drawing partly on empirical psychology, and partly on philosophical considerations. I shall argue that this version has all the virtues of Neander's original theory, but also the further crucial advantage of being able to account for the distality of perceptual content.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:April 2018
Deposited On:23 Oct 2019 13:47
Last Modified:30 Jan 2020 14:34
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0031-8094
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/pq/pqx052
Related URLs:https://academic.oup.com/pq/article/68/271/349/4508841

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