Perception Imagination and Demonstrative Reference

Paul Coates

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper examines the contents of perceptual experience, and focuses in particular on the relation between the representational aspects of an experience and its phenomenal character. It is argued that the Critical Realist two-component analysis of experience, advocated by Wilfrid Sellars, is preferable to the Intentionalist view. Experiences have different kinds of representational contents: both informational and intentional. An understanding of the essential navigational role of perception provides a principled way of explaining the nature of such representational contents. Experiences also have a distinct phenomenal content, or character, which is not determined by representational content.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmpiricism, Perceptual Knowledge, Normativity and Realism
EditorsWillem de Vries
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-957330-1, 0199573301
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Perceptual experience; representational content; critical realism; phenomenal qualities; intentionalism; causal theory of perception; navigational account; Wilfrid Sellars;


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