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Seeing, Doing, and KnowingA Philosophical Theory of Sense Perception$
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Mohan Matthen

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199268504

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199268509.001.0001

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The Sensory Classification Thesis

The Sensory Classification Thesis

(p.13) 1 The Sensory Classification Thesis
Seeing, Doing, and Knowing

Mohan Matthen (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Sensory systems are automatic sorting machines which assign external sensed objects (distal stimuli) to classes on the basis of useful commonalities found in them. The results of a system=s sorting activities are made available to the perceiver in the form of a sensation, which can be held in memory or later recalled. Appearance thus follows classification as the record thereof. It follows (a) that sensory qualities are prior to experience and hence cannot be defined in terms of it, and (b) that all variations in the appearance of the stimulus are representationally significant (but not that all phenomenal variation is representationally significant).

Keywords:   blindsight, dispositionalism, distal objects, F. A. Hayek, inverted spectrum, nominalism, realism, response-dependence, sensation, sensory classification, sensory qualia

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