The world is my representation: Direct realism and the extended mind
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In current philosophical and scientific work, perception is widely understood as representing the external world. Like thoughts and memories, perceptual experiences seem to be ‘about’ particular things, to characterize these things in particular ways, and to be assessable for accuracy based on the extent to which these things are as characterized. But in another regard, perception seems quite unlike these other modes of representation: for perception’s most striking feature—its highly vivid phenomenology, replete with qualitative detail—is without parallel in episodes of thought and memory.
These observations form the basis for J. Christopher Maloney’s philosophically wide-ranging and scientifically well-informed discussion in What It Is Like to Perceive, which advances a novel explanation of perception’s phenomenology in terms of the distinctive nature of the representational vehicles it employs. These, for Maloney, consist of a referentialcomponent that picks out something in the...