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The Representational vs. the Relational View of Visual Experience

  • Brian P. McLaughlin (a1)

In Reference and Consciousness,1 John Campbell attempts to a make a case that what he calls ‘the Relational View’ of visual experience, a view that he champions, is superior to what he calls ‘the Representational View’.2 I argue that his attempt fails. In section 1, I spell out the two views. In section 2, I outline Campbell's case that the Relational View is superior to the Representational View and offer a diagnosis of where Campbell goes wrong. In section 3, I examine the case in detail and argue that it fails. Finally, in section 4, I mention two very well-known problems for the Relational View that are unresolved in the book.

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G. Harman , ‘The Intrinsic Quality of Experience’ in J. Tomberlin (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives (Northridge, Calif.: Ridgeview, 1990)

M. Johnston , ‘The Obscure Object of Hallucination’, Philosophical Studies 120:1–3 (2004), 113–83

S.D. Kelly , ‘Reference and Attention: A Difficult Connection’, Philosophical Studies 120 (2004), 277–86

M. Matthen , ‘Biological Functions and Perceptual Content’, Journal of Philosophy 85:1 (1988), 527

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Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements
  • ISSN: 1358-2461
  • EISSN: 1755-3555
  • URL: /core/journals/royal-institute-of-philosophy-supplements
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