Subject and Object in the Contents of Visual Experience

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Subject and Object in the Contents of Visual Experience

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Title: Subject and Object in the Contents of Visual Experience
Author: Siegel, Susanna
Citation: Siegel, Susanna. 2006. Subject and object in the contents of visual experience. Philosophical Review 115, no. 3: 355-388.
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Abstract: What is the difference between perception and mere sensation? Take a typical perceptual experience, such as an experience of seeing a fish or a table, and a merely sensory experience, such as the experience of “seeing stars” or of enjoying a red phosphene. One difference between these experiences is that in the first case there is an external object that one sees. But this difference is not the only difference. On the face of it, typical perceptual experiences and mere sensations also differ in their phenomenal character. How can this difference be understood?
In this essay, I will argue that there is a representational difference between perceptual experiences and mere sensations. In particular, in ordinary perceptual experiences of seeing, unlike mere sensations, certain relations between the subject of the experience and the objects of the experience are presented as obtaining. I will argue that typical perceptual experiences of seeing ordinary objects present those objects both as independent of the subject and as perceptually connected to the subject, in senses that I will clarify.
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