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Reconsidering Perceptual Content*

William T. Wojtach
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 76, No. 1 (January 2009), pp. 22-43
DOI: 10.1086/597020
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/597020
Page Count: 22
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Reconsidering Perceptual Content*
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Abstract

An important class of teleological theories cannot explain the representational content of visual states because they fail to address the relationship between the world, projected retinal stimuli, and perception. A different approach for achieving a naturalized theory of visual content is offered that rejects the traditional internalism/externalism debate in favor of what is termed “empirical externalism.” This position maintains that, while teleological considerations can underwrite a broad understanding of representation, the content of visual representation can only be determined empirically according to accumulated past experience. A corollary is that a longstanding problem concerning the indeterminacy of visual content is dissolved.

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