Perception and Introspection Workshop

Friday 16 November 2007


St. Andrews Building
University of Glasgow
Morning: Room N101
Afternoon: Room 432



Kathrin Gluer-Pagin (University of Stockholm)
'Experience: Content, Attitude and Phenomenology'

Any adequate account of perceptual experience has to provide answers to the following questions: What kind, and form of, content do experiences have? What kind of mental state are they? I shall argue, first, that experiences are best construed as a kind of belief and, second, that this requires a non-standard semantics for experiences. I shall then explore some of the phenomenological consequences of such a doxastic account of experience.

Chair: David Bain (University of Glasgow)


Katalin Farkas (Central European University)
'Uses and Abuses of the Transparency Claim'

Introspection is supposed to reveal that perceptual experiences are ‘transparent’; that when we try inspect the features of, say, a visual experience, we ‘see through’ the experience itself to the external objects and properties perceived. The purpose of this talk is to clarify what is meant by the metaphors of ‘transparency’ or ‘seeing through’, and to see what follows if experience is indeed transparent. In particular, I shall argue that the transparency claim does not support disjunctivist views of perception.

Chair: Alan Weir (University of Glsagow)

1.00-2.30 Lunch (own arrangements)

Hemdat Lerman (University of Warwick)
'The Relational View and the Subject's Perspective'

The relational view of experience is the view that perceptual experience is essentially a relation between a subject and mind-independent elements of the environment. In particular, according to the relational view the way things are presented in experience from the subject’s point of view - the phenomenal or subjective character of the experience - is at least partly constituted by the mind-independent experienced environment. Many philosophers take the view to be unintelligible. In this talk I respond to this type of reaction by sketching a way of making sense of the view.

My suggestion for how to make sense of the relational view involves distinguishing two aspects of the subjective character of our perceptual experience, and providing for each of them a different explanation of the sense in which it is constituted by mind-independent things. One aspect has to do with the subjective character being a certain type of character rather than others. The explanation in this case involves clarifying that the relationalist is suggesting a change in the way philosophers think about our consciousness of the environment. The other aspect has to do with the fact that what is presented to the subject, from the subject’s point of view, are particular objects, locations and events and particular instances of properties. The explanation in this case involves taking into account the role played by what is often called ‘the simple theory of perception’ in constituting the subject’s point of view.

Chair: Matt Nudds (University of Edinburgh)



Susanna Siegel (Harvard University)
'Introspection and the Contents of Experience'

According to a widespread view, visual experiences are propositional attitudes that can be accurate or inaccurate, with contents that can be true or false.  Some philosophers take this view not to need defense, while others take it to be controversial and have recently argued against it. I argue that both sides are mistaken, by formulating a version of the view that is less controversial than is commonly supposed, and providing an independent defense of it.

Chair: Fiona Macpherson (University of Glasgow)

6.00-late Drinks and Dinner: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow


Cost: £20 (students £15) without dinner

         £40 (students £30) including dinner

If you wish to come you must register by e-mailing Dimitris Platchias: Numbers are limited - so please register early to avoid disappointment. Please state any dietary requirements that you have and please also mention whether or not you would like to attend the dinner after the workshop.

Student Bursaries

There are some bursaries available to help non-Glasgow University students with the costs associated with attending the workshop. Please enquire.


Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience

The Aristotelian Society

The Scots Philosophical Club

The Analysis Trust

Additional Information

Travel information to Glasgow and the University