A puzzle about seeing for representationalism

James Openshaw, Assaf Weksler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When characterizing the content of a subject’s perceptual experience, does their seeing an object entail that their visual experience represents it as being a certain way? If it does, are they thereby in a position to have perceptually-based thoughts about it? On one hand, representationalists are under pressure to answer these questions in the affirmative. On the other hand, it seems they cannot. This paper presents a puzzle to illustrate this tension within orthodox representationalism. We identify several interesting morals which may be drawn in response, each of which teaches us something interesting and important about perceptual experience and its interface with cognition and related phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2625-2646
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Analog representation
  • Attention
  • Format
  • Iconic representation
  • Perceptual experience
  • Representationalism
  • Seeing
  • Singular thought

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


Dive into the research topics of 'A puzzle about seeing for representationalism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this