Review of Philosophy and Psychology

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 301–312 | Cite as

Perception of High-Level Content and the Argument from Associative Agnosia

  • Mette Kristine Hansen


Visual Associative agnosia is a rare perceptual impairment generally resulting from lesions in the infero temporal cortex. Patients suffering from associative agnosia are able to make accurate copies of line drawings, but they are unable to visually recognize objects - including those represented in line drawings - as belonging to familiar high-level kinds. The Rich Content View claims that visual experience can represent high-level kind properties. The phenomenon of associative agnosia appears to present us with a strong case for the Rich Content View. There are reasons for thinking that the experiences of an agnosic patient differ from those of a healthy subject. Given that there is a phenomenal contrast between the experiences of an associative agnosic and those of a healthy perceiver, one may argue that this contrast is due to differences in abilities to represent high-level kinds. I claim that there is indeed a phenomenal contrast between the visual experiences of an agnosic and those of a healthy perceiver. However, the explanation of this contrast that best fits the empirical data is compatible with the view that visual experience does not represent high-level kinds.



I would like to thank Tim Bayne, Fiona Macpherson and Anders Nes for helpful discussions on these topics. I would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers for suggestions on the final draft.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universitetet i Bergen, Institutt for filosofi og førstesemesterstudier, Det Humanistiske FakultetBergenNorway

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