, Volume 163, Issue 3, pp 827-835
Date: 06 Oct 2012

Siegel’s get rich quick scheme

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Susanna Siegel has done much in recent years to reanimate and redirect debates about the content of perception. Her rich, forcefully argued, and provocative book is a major contribution to the literature (Siegel 2011). In it, she helps to defend two pillars of the orthodoxy in the philosophy of perception against recent outbreaks of schismatic dissent: she argues the perceptual content is representational and that veridical vision shares a common core with hallucination. Her central positive thesis, however, may be regarded as a break from the orthodoxy. Wherever most would agree that visual experience represents shapes and colors, Siegel argues that it also represents properties that transcend mere appearances, such as natural kinds and causation, and it does so in a non-derivative way. That is, when visual experience represents natural kinds and the like, it adds something above and beyond the representations of superficial forms. This claim may align with commonsense, insofar as we ...