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The Situation-Dependency of Visual Perception

Susanna Schellenberg

Thursday, September 28, 2006, 12:00pm - 07:00pm

University of Pittsburgh, Department of Philosophy

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I argue that explaining how one can have knowledge of objects� intrinsic properties (their shape, size, and color) through the specific means of perception requires distinguishing the situation-dependency from the subjectivity of perception. By understanding the way objects are presented in terms of mind-independent and external situation-dependent properties of objects, the way objects are presented can be clearly distinguished both from how objects appear to one and how one represents objects as being presented. Situation-dependent properties are properties the object has given the situational features (the lighting conditions, the perceiver�s location in relation to the perceived object) that are a function of those very situational features and the object�s intrinsic properties. I spell out the consequences of this distinction for the relation between representations of objects� intrinsic properties and representations of their situation-dependent properties.

Susanna Schellenberg