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What do we see in pictures? The sensory individuals of picture perception

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

When I am looking at an apple, I perceptually attribute certain properties to certain entities. Two questions arise: what are these entities (what is it that I perceptually represent as having properties) and what are these properties (what properties I perceive this entity as having)? This paper is about the former, less widely explored, question: what does our perceptual system attribute properties to? In other words, what are these 'sensory individuals'. There have been important debates in philosophy of perception about what sensory individuals would be the most plausible candidates for which sense modalities. The aim of this paper is to ask a related question about picture perception: what is the sensory individual of picture perception? When we look at a picture and see an apple depicted in it, what kind of entity do we see? What do we perceptually attribute properties to? I argue that the most straightforward candidates (ordinary objects, sui generis sensory individuals, no sensory individuals) are all problematic and that the most plausible candidate for the sensory individuals of picture perception are spatiotemporal regions.
Journal: Philosophical studies: an international journal for philosophy in the analytic tradition
ISSN: 0031-8116
Volume: 179
Pages: 3729 - 3746
Publication year:2022
Keywords:A1 Journal article