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?1 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 will explore the idea that there is simply no fact of the matter—that it is indeterminate...
KeywordsNatural Kind Visual Experience Phenomenal Character Recognitional Capacity Veridical Experience
Previous versions of this paper were presented at the Conference on Phenomenal Qualities and Perception at the University of Hertfordshire, and a workshop on indeterminacy at the University of Leeds. Thanks to those in attendance for their helpful comments and questions. Special thanks to Louise Antony, Ross Cameron, Esa Diaz-Leon, Jennifer Matey, Elizabeth Schechter, Benedicte Veillet, and Robbie Williams for detailed comments on previous drafts of this paper.
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