Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

George Graham

Abstract

Do perceiving subjects represent kind properties in the content of their conscious visual experience when they see and recognize instances of those natural kinds? In Part 1 of my thesis I clarify this question, in Part 2 I answer it, and in Part 3 I raise a problem for previous answers. Part 1 conceives of conscious experience in an internalist way, and the unified conscious episode does not exclude having beliefs about what one sees. Following Siegel (2006) and Bayne (2011), Part 2 formulates two arguments in support of representing kind properties in the content of experience. In Part 3, I argue that attempts to distinguish visual experiences from visual beliefs might fail to account for the interplay of sensory and cognitive elements in visual object recognition. I conclude by suggesting it has not been established that visual experiences can be distinguished from visual beliefs.

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