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Fiona Macpherson and Dimitris Platchias (Eds.), Hallucination: Philosophy and Psychology

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Hallucination: Philosophy and Psychology is an edited MIT press collection that contributes to the (analytic) philosophy of perception. This collection is a significant addition to the literature both for its excellent choice of texts, and its emphasis on the case of hallucinations. Dedicating a volume to hallucinatory phenomena may seem somewhat peculiar for those not entrenched in the analytic philosophy of perception, but it is easy enough to grasp their significance. Theories of perception aim to give a fundamental characterization of perceptual experience, which are experiences with a sensory phenomenal character. Such perceptual experiences (henceforth experiences) include cases of successfully perceiving something, but also some cases of merely seeming to perceive. This is because prima facie, some cases of seeming to perceive are more than merely thinking that one does (such cases would be instances of thought not perception); they are cases of misperceiving. Hallucinations are ...
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Fiona Macpherson and Dimitris Platchias (Eds.), Hallucination: Philosophy and
Psychology
MIT Press, 2013, 432 pages, ISBN 0262019205, $40.22
Hallucination: Philosophy and Psychology is an edited MIT press collection that contributes
to the (analytic) philosophy of perception. This collection is a significant addition to the literature
both for its excellent choice of texts, and its emphasis on the case of hallucinations. Dedicating a
volume to hallucinatory phenomena may seem somewhat peculiar for those not entrenched in the
analytic philosophy of perception, but it is easy enough to grasp their significance. Theories of
perception aim to give a fundamental characterization of perceptual experience, which are
experiences with a sensory phenomenal character. Such perceptual experiences (henceforth
experiences) include cases of successfully perceiving something, but also some cases of merely
seeming to perceive. This is because prima facie, some cases of seeming to perceive are more
than merely thinking that one does (such cases would be instances of thought not perception);
they are cases of misperceiving. Hallucinations are thought to be such cases. In undergoing them,
one's experience has a sensory character much like, possibly even identical to, successful cases
of perception. This makes hallucinations a central explanandum for theories of perceptual
experience.
The focus on hallucinations, however, is justified by more than their being a case of
misperception. Hallucinations are thought to have a distinguishing feature that makes them
particularly significant and problematic for a theory of experience. This can be brought out by
comparing them to the other major category of misperception, illusions. Typically the difference
between these cases is glossed by saying “In a hallucination, perceptual contact is missing;
[while] illusions are misleading guides to what is in the environment" . The idea is that illusions
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allow us to perceive the object despite the misleading appearance. Thus a partly submerged
pencil looks bent but is straight, but it is that very pencil which is seen as bent. By contrast
hallucinations are thought to be more extreme. The hallucination has a sensory character, e.g. a
cat appears to the hallucinator, yet that cat is simply not there. Moreover there may be nothing
remotely cat-like at all where the hallucination appears to be located; one may be looking at a
plain white wall, or indeed be altogether blind. Thus plausibly hallucinations posses a 'world-
severing' nature, they ‘cut us off’ from the world around us by showing us something that is not
there.
Siegel 2012, p.34
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This world-severing construal of hallucinations has had considerable impact through
philosophical history. If hallucinations of this sort are possible, then the simplest view of
experience - that they simply relate us to the world - requires modification. Thus the case for
indirect realism in early modern and early analytic philosophy are easily launched from
observing that such hallucinations are possible (this is the argument from hallucinations), and in
the early phenomenological tradition we also the impact of these cases, for instance, on Husserl,
who makes use of the epoché partly by way of eliminating issues raised by hallucinations. The
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contemporary philosophy of perception is similarly affected by these cases. Two views currently
dominate the analytic scene, intentionalism (sometimes representationalism) and relationalism
(sometimes naïve realism). Intentionalist views construe experience as consisting most
fundamentally in a way of representing the world. Experiences thus involve 'entertaining' a
representational content with the difference between veridical and nonveridical cases depending
on the relation obtaining between that content and what it represents. By contrast relational
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views take experiences to consist most fundamentally in an 'immediate' relation (sometimes
called acquaintance, following Russell) to worldly objects. The difference of interest between
these views (there are many other important differences) is that while intentionalism leaves
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room for perceptually representing the world to be thus and so regardless of whether it is or not,
relationalists think that experiences simply relate us to the world, so what is perceived must both
exist and be present to the perceiver.
Given their commitments, intentionalists generally have an easier time with
hallucinations. For the intentionalist, entertaining a content when the object is absent is sufficient
for hallucinating. This produces a natural connection between intentionalism and a conjunctive
analyses of experience. On this sort of analysis, there is a common factor shared by perceptions
and hallucinations, and it is this factor which accounts for the sensory character of experiences.
External factors then further specify whether the case is a hallucination or ordinary perception.
Relationalists, by contrast, cannot give this same straightforward response since experiences
always depend on the presence of worldly objects. Typically what is suggested in place is a
disjunctive analysis of experience, where perceptions and hallucinations lack a common factor
sufficient for sensory character. The indiscriminability of perceptions and hallucinations is then
explained through some other route, for instance, by arguing as Martin (2006) does that
For instance in Cartesian Meditations, Husserl excludes the evidence of the world’s existence on the basis that “the whole unitarily surveyable nexus...can prove to be an
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illusion, a coherent dream” (p.57 of the original text). For more on this issue in Husserl and also Heidegger, see McManus 1996.
How the content is entertained varies from one view to another (e.g. see Pautz 2010, Siegel 2012, and Schellenberg 2011). It is also worth noting that is not an intentionalist
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commitment that perception be indirect. The commitment is to saying that one perceives worldly object (usually directly) by entering a representational state with a certain
content, not that one perceives worldly objects by perceiving a representational content.
For more on these differences, see the works cited.
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hallucinations are most fundamentally characterized by their possessing the epistemic property
of being indiscriminable from corresponding perceptions. This is not to say that all intentionalist
views are conjunctivist (for instance Tye 2011) or all relationalist views are disjunctivist (for
instance Johnston 2004). However, there is clearly an affinity between these pairs of views, and
for the sake of organizing what follows, I assume these pairs go hand in hand.
While the value of this collection can be most clearly seen in relation to the intentionalist/
relationalist debate, with the focus on hallucinations moving us towards the heart of one
fundamental dispute between the views, the collection deals with more than just this debate. The
chapters divide into psychological and philosophical papers, and the psychological papers
present recent work on hallucinations that is of significance to anyone thinking about these
phenomena. The empirical pieces begin with Ffytche’s detailed paper on Charles Bonnet
Syndrome (CBS) which is one of the more robust cases of visual hallucination. He argues that of
two possible characterizations of hallucinations (one that treats them as genuinely perceptual,
and another that treats them as mental imagery akin to imagining or remembering), CBS cases
are genuinely perceptual (which may lend support to intentionalism). The fourth paper by da
Silva also explores visual hallucinations, in this case those had by normal and Parkinson’s
disease populations. The paper concludes that such hallucinations are primarily due to the
malfunctioning of visual systems and systems related to deep sleep. The second and third papers,
by Bentall & Varese, and Fernyhough & McCarthy-Jones, turn the focus to auditory
hallucinations and the question of source monitoring (both also link this to developmental
factors), where the idea is that (at least) auditory hallucinations may be internally generated but
not experienced as such because the hallucinator fails to monitor their inner speech. The final
intriguing paper by Naish starts with an argument for the reality of hypnosis through experiments
focusing on time-distortion when hypnotized, and then argues that cases of hallucination may
also be partly due to time-distortion (for instance, one might explain self-monitoring failures by
appeal to time-distortion).
The philosophy papers might be broadly divided into three themes (though there is an
overlap of issues throughout), with two outliers. Some papers defend intentionalism, doing so by
either articulating a way of thinking about the view (Dorsch, Schellenberg), or raising worries
about the alternative (Robinson). Other papers attempt the same on behalf of relationalism, two
(Hellie, Kennedy) present new proposals for dealing with hallucinations, and two present new
arguments for old ways of defending relationalism (Nudds, Aranyosi). The third group of papers
turn their focus to hallucinatory phenomenology in specific, with Philipps focusing on hearing
and hallucinating silence, and Farkas discussing the felt reality of hallucinations. The two
outliers are Pagandiotis’ and Coates’ papers, which both leave aside intentionalism and
relationalism, and instead focus on how other views deal with hallucinations. Pagandiotis' paper
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discusses the tenability of the indirect realist’s explanation of hallucination, arguing that contrary
to established opinion, indirect realism is unable to account for these phenomena without
assuming intentionalism, and Coates' paper attempts an explanation of hallucinatory phenomena
from the critical realist perspective emerging out of Sellars' work. Both should be interest to
proponents or opponents of these views.
Turning to the intentionalist papers, these begin with Dorsch’s insightful piece which
provides a detailed argument for an intentionalist view that procures relationalist advantages.
While the denial of any straightforward opposition between intentionalist and relationalist views
is not new (both Schellenberg 2010 and Tye 2011 defend views with intentionalist and
relationalist features), Dorsch’s paper gives a new defense of this idea by considering various
worries afflicting both conjunctive and disjunctive views, and concluding with a view that
overcomes these worries by maintaining that experiences involve awareness of both the world
and our own conscious experience. Related to Dorsch’s piece is Schellenberg’s which also
marries intentionalist and relationalist insights. Her discussion carries forward the view she has
previously articulated (e.g. in Schellenberg 2010, 2011) on which experiences are moderately
externalist, with contents partly individuated by worldly objects, and partly individuated by the
employment of perceptual capacities. Common to these two view is the idea that some part of
experience is independent from the surroundings and thus allows us to account for hallucinatory
phenomenology, while another part is (equally fundamentally) not, and this allows us to preserve
the relationalist insights. The final paper in this group is Robinson’s which focuses on rejecting
the disjunctive response to cases of causally matching hallucinations (these are hallucinations
that are supposed to be due to replicating the entire internal state of a perceiving subject in the
absence of an appropriate object). Robinson argues that three ways of rejecting these
hallucinations (endorsed by John McDowell, Michael Martin, and Mark Johnston) all fail.
Without disjunctivism, Robinson concludes that relationalism is left confronting the large burden
of dealing with these cases.
In the relationalist papers we see the continuing centrality of the disjunctive strategy for
dealing with hallucinations, as well as Martin's (2006) proposal on which hallucinations are
characterized in merely epistemic terms. The first two contributions propose alternatives to
Martin's conception. Hellie presents an interestingly new view on which hallucinations are
themselves a disjunctive category. This strategy is unique in providing a positive characterization
of hallucinatory phenomena (which relationalists are often accused of failing to do), while also
preserving Martin's (2006) idea that we have no insight into the nature of hallucinations apart
from recognizing their indistinguishability from corresponding perceptions. Such a view is
possible because different hallucinations may have different fundamental natures, and although
we cannot distinguish those, all types of hallucinations can be picked out by their
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indistinguishability from corresponding perceptions. The next proposal comes from Kennedy
who revises his 2009 proposal. Here he argues that relationalists should de-emphasize the idea of
phenomenal character in favor of a more relationalist friendly conception of first person access to
the world, which, of course, strongly emphasizes object-dependence. He argues the phenomenal
character simply does not 'cut experiences at the joints', and so while an appeal to general
contents adequately describe hallucinatory phenomenal character and can be accepted by
relationalists, this in itself has no propensity to undermine the fundamentally relational nature of
experience. Unlike these two proposals that seek to replace Martin's view, Nudds' paper argues
on behalf of the epistemic conception of hallucinations (and thus opposes Robinson's paper). On
the one hand Nudds thinks that relationalist commitments preclude a positive account of
hallucinations, and on the other hand such an account is unnecessary since the appeal to
introspective indistinguishability - which one can get from the negative epistemic property -
adequately explains hallucinations.
The final piece on behalf of relationalism is Aranyosi's. Like Nudds' view, it defends a
disjunctive treatment of perceptual states, but in this case does so by making use of the
phenomena of silence and deafness. Since those two are indistinguishable, Aranyosi argues that
this reveals that one might have indistinguishable states with radically different natures. Silence
is also the theme of Philipps' paper, which along with Farkas', focuses on hallucinatory
phenomenology. Philipps considers Sorensen's (2008) discussion of silence which implausibly
entails that the permanently deaf hallucinate silence. He undertakes a correction of this account
and in doing so fleshes out two ways of understanding how silence might be perceived, and how
this affects views like relationalism on which all experiences have objects. Between Aranyosi’s
and Philipps’ papers, we see a new focusing on 'null' experiences which may indicate a fruitful
new route emerging in the quest to understand hallucinations, especially given the importance of
pure or complete hallucinations (hallucinations that involve no veridically experienced objects).
The collection ends with Farkas' paper which focuses on the felt sense of reality of
hallucinations. Using empirical findings, she extracts and elaborates ideas on, for example, the
felt independence and publicness of hallucinations. The piece thus fits well with the
psychological papers in this collection since it helps organize and expand on the features of
hallucinations discussed there.
Finally, it is also worth noting that the collection begins with an introduction to the theme of
hallucinations, as well as a chapters introduction. The latter is by Platchias and is a useful guide
for those looking to read on specific topics. The former is by Macpherson, and like other
introductions she has written (e.g. her introduction to OUP’s collection on the senses), her
discussion is well organized, considers the overarching issues of the collection, and does so
without sacrificing nuances and details. Of particular significance is her separation of four
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conceptions of hallucination, two of which are disjunctive (one contingent, the other not), one
which is a common kind conception, and finally one which traces hallucinatory phenomenology
to the imagination or memory. This division helps us sort through the different views endorsed
throughout the collection.
We see various interesting trends emerge in this edited volume. One is the idea that the
difference between relationalist and intentionalist views is not as clear cut as philosophers
initially thought. Dorsch, Hellie, Kennedy, and Schellenberg all provide views that, in one way
or another, combine elements of both views. However, it still seems as if there is a divide
between those views that allow a common factor sufficient for sensory character, and those that
reject this idea. One way of understanding the continued centrality of the epistemic conception
endorsed by Martin is that it is a conception which rejects this common sensory core in favor of a
merely epistemic core. Another trend (which I previously mentioned) is that of considering a
wider class of perceptual phenomena, like the seemingly objectless case of silence. In my view
this is a promising trend which might be expanded to include other infrequently discussed
perceptual cases such as ganzfelds and reflections (to give two examples). A third promising
trend is that of paying more attention to empirical research on hallucinations. Hallucinations
have typically been discussed from the armchair (much as Descartes contemplated his skeptical
hypothesis after retreating from his everyday life), and this seems an outdated trend given the
more serious integration with the sciences that we now see throughout the philosophy of mind
(e.g. the relevance of empirical work to theorizing about successful cases of perception or
attention). This can only improve our chances of understanding these difficult phenomena.
Relatedly, but on a more critical note, despite the many pathways considered in this
collection, we see the assumption that hallucinations possess what I called a ‘world-severing’
character remain unchallenged. This presupposition about hallucinations, that if they have a
sensory character, it is one that occurs in the absence of actually perceived objects, informs the
entire collection of essays. Most of the papers admit to this character and attempt an explanation
of it, while others admit to this character, and thus deny the existence of genuinely perceptual
hallucinations (i.e. hallucinations with a sensory character). A few papers consider (e.g.
Robinson and Aranyosi both wonder whether we should accept ‘philosophers hallucinations’) or
allow for the possibility of (e.g. Hellie, since he thinks hallucinations may come in all sorts)
rejecting this world-severing construal, but do not pursue the idea. This omission is unfortunate
because if hallucinations do not have such a character, then they may not raise the worries we
think they do for relationalism. For instance, both Chalmers (2005) and Gallagher & Zahavi
(2008) argue for a limited version of this idea, where envatted brains are perceptually related to
the world around them. Watzl (manuscript) and Ali (dissertation) have also both argued that no
hallucination cuts us off from the world; hallucinatory sensory character is simply the result of
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being unusually related to the world. This however is just to say that the volume might have been
more expansive in one way, and this hardly detracts from the value of this well thought out
collection.
Author Contact Information:
Rami Ali
Rami.ali.philosophy (at) gmail.com
Works Cited
Ali, R. (2014). Illusionism: Making the Problem of Hallucinations Disappear. University of
Miami Electronic Library.
Chalmers, D. J. (2005). The Matrix as Metaphysics. In Philosophers Explore the Matrix (p. 132).
Oxford University Press.
Gallagher, S., & Zahavi, D. (2012). The Phenomenological Mind. Routledge.
Johnston, M. (2004). The Obscure Object of Hallucination. Philosophical Studies, 120(1-3),
113–83.
Kennedy, M. (2009). Heirs of Nothing: The Implications of Transparency. Philosophy and
Phenomenological Research, 79(3), 574–604.
Martin, M. G. F. (2006). On Being Alienated. In Perceptual Experience. Oxford University
Press.
Schellenberg, S. (2010). The Particularity and Phenomenology of Perceptual Experience.
Philosophical Studies, 149(1).
Schellenberg, S. (2011). Ontological Minimalism About Phenomenology. Philosophy and
Phenomenological Research, 83(1), 1–40.
Siegel, S. (2012). The Contents of Visual Experience (Reprint.). Oxford University Press.
Sorensen, R. A. (2008). Seeing Dark Things: The Philosophy of Shadows. Oxford University
Press.
Tye, M. (2011). Consciousness Revisited: Materialism without Phenomenal Concepts. MIT
Press.
Macpherson, F. (2011). The Senses: Classic and Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives.
Oxford University Press.
Macpherson, F., & Platchias, D. (2013). Hallucination: philosophy and psychology. MIT Press.
McManus, D. (1996). Error, Hallucination and the Concept of “Ontology” in the Early Work of
Heidegger. Philosophy, 71(278), 553–575. doi:10.1017/S003181910005347X.
Pautz, A. (2010). Why Explain Visual Experience in Terms of Content? In Perceiving the World.
Oxford University Press.
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Watzl, S. (Manuscript). Phenomenal Qualities are Relations to Particulars. Personal Website.
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Book
Full-text available
The Phenomenological Mind is the first book to properly introduce fundamental questions about the mind from the perspective of phenomenology. Key questions and topics covered include: • • what is phenomenology? • • naturalizing phenomenology and the cognitive sciences • • phenomenology and consciousness • • consciousness and self-consciousness • • time and consciousness • • intentionality • • the embodied mind • • action • • knowledge of other minds • • situated and extended minds • • phenomenology and personal identity.
Thesis
https://scholarship.miami.edu/esploro/outputs/doctoral/Illusionism-Making-the-Problem-of-Hallucinations/991031447810502976
Book
Reflection on the nature of hallucination has relevance for many traditional philosophical debates concerning the nature of the mind, perception, and our knowledge of the world. In recent years, neuroimaging techniques and scientific findings on the nature of hallucination, combined with interest in new philosophical theories of perception such as disjunctivism, have brought the topic of hallucination once more to the forefront of philosophical thinking. Scientific evidence from psychology, neuroscience, and psychiatry sheds light on the functional role and physiology of actual hallucinations; some disjunctivist theories offer a radically new and different philosophical conception of hallucination. This volume offers interdisciplinary perspectives on the nature of hallucination, offering essays by both scientists and philosophers.Contributors first consider topics from psychology and neuroscience, including neurobiological mechanisms of hallucination and the nature and phenomenology of auditory-verbal hallucinations. Philosophical discussions follow, with contributors first considering disjunctivism and then, more generally, the relation between hallucination and the nature of experience. Contributors István Aranyosi, Richard P. Bentall, Paul Coates, Fabian Dorsch, Katalin Farkas, Charles Fernyhough, Dominic H. ffytche, Benj Hellie, Matthew Kennedy, Fiona Macpherson, Ksenija Maravic da Silva, Peter Naish, Simon McCarthy-Jones, Matthew Nudds, Costas Pagondiotis, Ian Phillips, Dimitris Platchias, Howard Robinson, Susanna Schellenberg, Filippo Varese. © 2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.
Article
If a spinning disk casts a round shadow does the shadow also spin? When the cave guide turns out the light so that you can experience the total blackness, are you seeing in the dark? Or are you merely failing to see anything (just like your blind companion)? Seeing Dark Things uses visual riddles to explore our ability to see shadows, silhouettes, black ants, plus some things that are only metaphorically "dark" such as holes. These dark things are anomalies for the causal theory of perception: anything we see must be a cause of what we see. Roy Sorensen defends the causal theory of perception by treating absences as causes. With the help of fifty-nine figures, Sorensen proceeds bottom up from observation rather than top down from theory.Shadows are metaphysical amphibians with one foot on terra firma of common sense and the other in the murky waters of nonbeing. Seeing Dark Things portrays the causal theory of perception's confrontation with the shadows as a triumph against alien attack. Lessons from the parried threat deepen a theory that resonates strongly with common sense and science. Thus the book is an unorthodox defense of an orthodox theory.
Chapter
The standard arguments for explaining visual experience in terms of intentional content are based on the transparency observation, physicalism about the mind, or on the analysis of statements describing how things look. I believe that the standard arguments fail. In my view, there is no quick and easy argument for the intentional view. Nevertheless I believe that there is an argument to be made for the intentional view of visual experience. It takes the form of an inference to the best explanation. Both veridical and nonveridical visual experiences can ground the capacity to have beliefs about the external world. Visual experiences, like beliefs and other standard intentional states, can be indeterminate and depict impossible scenarios. The best explanation of these and other features of visual experience, I will argue, is that both veridical and nonveridical experiences are themselves intentional states of a kind more basic than belief.
Chapter
Disjunctivist theories advocate a type of naïve realism about veridical perception in that they support the common understanding that some sensory experiences are relations to mind-independent objects. The sceptical argument from hallucination challenges the connection between naïve realism about perceptual experience and disjunctivism. This chapter focuses on identifying and elaborating the fundamental disagreements here. The first part presents the basic commitments of disjunctivism. This is followed by a formulation of the worry about the absence of phenomenal consciousness in relation to older concerns of absent qualia. Opposing models of how phenomenal consciousness and self-awareness fit together are sketched. In the final section, these models are connected to different reactions to external world scepticism.
Article
1 Brains in Vats The Matrix presents a version of an old philosophical fable: the brain in a vat. A disembodied brain is floating in a vat, inside a scientist's laboratory. The scientist has arranged that the brain will be stimulated with the same sort of inputs that a normal embodied brain receives. To do this, the brain is connected to a giant computer simulation of a world. The simulation determines which inputs the brain receives. When the brain produces outputs, these are fed back into the simulation. The internal state of the brain is just like that of a normal brain, despite the fact that it lacks a body. From the brain's point of view, things seem very much as they seem to you and me. The brain is massively deluded, it seems. It has all sorts of false beliefs about the world. It believes that it has a body, but it has no body. It believes that it is walking outside in the sunlight, but in fact it is inside a dark lab. It believes it is one place, when in fact it may be somewhere quite different. Perhaps it thinks it is in Tucson, when it is actually in Australia, or even in outer space. Neo's situation at the beginning of The Matrix is something like this. He thinks that he lives in a city; he thinks that he has hair; he thinks it is 1999; and he thinks that it is sunny outside. In reality, he is floating in a pod in space; he has no hair; the year is around 2199; and This paper was written for the "philosophy section" of the official Matrix website. It also appears in C. Grau, ed, Philosophers Explore the Matrix, Oxford University Press, 2005. As such, the bulk of the paper is written to be accessible for an audience without a background in philosophy. At the same time, this paper is intended as a serious work of philosophy, with relevance for central issues in epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind and language. A section of "philosophical notes" at the end of the article draws out some of these connections explicitly.
Article
The standard arguments for explaining visual experience in terms of intentional content are based on the transparency observation, physical-ism about the mind, or the analysis of statements describing how things look. Recently, some have questioned these standard arguments for the intentional view of visual experience. I agree with the critics that the standard arguments fail. In my view, there is no quick and easy argument for the intentional view. 1 Nevertheless, there is an argument to be made for the intentional view of visual experience. It takes the form of an inference to the best explana-tion. Both veridical and nonveridical visual experiences can ground the capacity to have beliefs about the external world. Visual experiences, like standard intentional states, can be indeterminate and depict impossible. Finally, my thanks to Bence Nanay, not only for his role in organizing a great conference but also for providing very helpful comments on an earlier version of this chapter. 1. For recent skepticism about the case for the intentional view, see Burge (2003) and Travis (2004). I agree with Tyler Burge that the transparency argument fails, but for reasons other than those he gives (Pautz 2007). For a response to Travis (2004), see Pautz (2008b: 2). Byrne (2001) provides an argument that, like the argument I develop here, depends on neither transparency nor physicalism. For criticism, see Pautz (2008b). It should be noted that here my aim is not to argue for the weak claim that experiences merely have contents in some sense, a claim that I elsewhere (Pautz 2008b) suggest may be established easily. Indeed, I argue that this claim is compatible with nearly every view on experience, including dis-junctivist (or "naive realist") views. Rather, my aim is to argue for the stronger claim that experiences are identical with relations to contents, so that there is a deep link between content and phenomenology. For this distinction, see Pautz (2007: 497; 2008b). Siegel (chapter 12, this volume) draws a similar distinction and addresses the weak claim. For more on this issue, see note 11.
Article
Michael Tye’s latest book, Consciousness Revisited, is his fourth MIT Press volume dedicated to philosophical issues concerning consciousness. However, this one stands apart from his previous books, as here Tye significantly revises several of his earlier views. For instance, he now denies the existence of phenomenal concepts, rejects strong intentionalism, and has changed his views on how we know about the phenomenal features of our experiences. To my mind, the readiness to change and modify one’s views in the face of counter-arguments is an admirable characteristic of a philosopher, since it supports the image of philosophy as a discipline where it is arguments that make people embrace or give up ideas. Clinging to a position even if it cannot be defended would turn philosophy into a boring and dogmatic subject. The issues that Tye’s book deals with are of interest not only to people working on consciousness, but also to philosophers specialising in the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of language, epistemology