What is a State of Visual Perception?
Robert Hudson

The goal of this paper is to re-assess the current state of debate on the issue of whether perceptual experiences states are disjunctive. According to disjunctivism, perceptual experiences contain as components the worldly objects they are about – thus, two phenomenologically identical perceptual experiences, one veridical and the other illusory, stand as different perceptual experiences since they have different objects. By comparison, the common-kind view of perception asserts that phenomenologically identical experiences, despite having different objects, are potentially the same perceptual experience. My strategy is to utilize some recent work in the empirical neuro-psychology of perception, work described in Peter Tse et al. (2005) using fMRI technology, that speaks on behalf of the common-kind view. Part of my task will be to defend a limited form of the mind/brain identity theory, talking into account discussions of the notion of a neural correlate of consciousness by Chalmers (2000) and Noë and Thompson (2004). On the basis of this limited identity theory, a philosophic basis for the common-kind view is established. In defending the philosophic significance of this basis, I examine some current criticisms of the common-kind view advanced by Campbell (2002), Martin (2002) and Millar (2007), criticisms that focus on the supposed transparency of perceptual experience. I close the paper by rejecting this supposed transparency and thus rejecting these criticisms.

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