Husserl Studies

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 225–245 | Cite as

Affectively Driven Perception: Toward a Non-representational Phenomenology

  • Matt Bower


While classical phenomenology, as represented by Edmund Husserl’s work, resists certain forms of representationalism about perception, I argue that in its theory of horizons, it posits representations in the sense of content-bearing vehicles. As part of a phenomenological theory, this means that on the Husserlian view such representations are part of the phenomenal character of perceptual experience. I believe that, although the intuitions supporting this idea are correct, it is a mistake to maintain that there are such representations defining the phenomenal character of low-level perception. What these representations are called on to explain, i.e., the phenomenal character of perceiving objects in their full presence, can be more parsimoniously explained by appealing to certain affective states or affect schemas that shape the intentional directedness of low-level perceptual experience and define its phenomenal character in a non-representational way. This revision of the Husserlian view, it is shown, also helps us understand the normative character of perception.


Perceptual Experience Perceptual Sense Phenomenal Character Representational Content Worldly Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesBeloit CollegeBeloitUSA

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