Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Andrea Scarantino - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. George Graham

Third Advisor

Dr. Sebastian Rand


Theories of perception can broadly be divided into two groups: orthodox and heterodox theories (Noë & Thompson, 2002). Orthodox theories of perception consider perception as a neurological process, i.e. as a phenomenon which can be explained solely in terms of intracranial facts. Heterodox views expand this scope, maintaining that an understanding of perception must include extracranial facts, or facts about the environment in which a perceiver is situated (ibid.). This thesis will attempt to defend a particular exemplar of this heterodox approach, namely the enactive theory of perception proposed by Alva Noë. The thesis has two primary goals. First, I will attempt to offer an exegesis of Noë's theory, attempting to clarify the scope and strength of Noë's view. Secondly, I will consider the particular objections leveled against Noë, and heterodox theories more generally, by Ken Aizawa. I conclude that Noë's theory can better account for the nature of perception.

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