Graduate Research Workshop: "Perception, Belief, and the Laws of Appearance"

Phil Groth (UC Santa Cruz)

Friday, January 19th, 2024 (12:10-2:00 PM) Baker Science (180) Room 0112



Adam Pautz argues that representationalists about perception face a puzzle. There are some laws that restrict what kinds of things we can perceptually represent. Those laws do not apply, however, to beliefs. To be a representationalist is to hold that there is a similarity between perception and belief. If this is the case, why do the laws apply to one kind of mental state, but not the other? I argue that the puzzle is not a puzzle for representationalists in general, but only for some forms of representationalism that hold excessive analogies between perception and belief. Specifically, the No Logical Structure law of appearance rules out views that identify perception with belief, and that consider propositions to be the contents of perception. I will suggest that there are other views, such as Tim Crane’s, that can account for the No Logical Structure law.


Phil Groth is a 5th-year Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at UC Santa Cruz. His research is in philosophy of mind & perception, epistemology, and philosophy of cognitive science. He is especially interested in the relation between perception and cognition.


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