, Volume 162, Issue 1, pp 1-12
Date: 19 Jul 2012

Visual experience of natural kind properties: is there any fact of the matter?

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Pretty much everyone agrees that we can visually experience something’s color, shape, size, and location properties. For example, in having a visual experience of a banana, I might experience its yellowness, its crescent-shapedness, its being about six inches long and about a foot to my right. But are there any other properties we can visually experience? For example, can I visually experience the banana’s property of being a banana?

This question is an instance of a more general one, namely: can we visually experience natural kind properties?

Because of space limitations, I will restrict this discussion to visual experience.

This question is the focus of this paper. In Sect. 1, I will explain how this question figures in a larger debate. In Sect. 2, I will evaluate two arguments for an affirmative answer to this question, and conclude that neither one is decisive. In Sect. 3, I will evaluate two arguments for a negative answer, and conclude that neither one is decisive. In Sect. 4, I wi