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Perception: Essays After Frege

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Charles Travis presents a series of connected essays on current topics in philosophy of perception. The book is informed throughout by a number of central insights of Gottlob Frege's, notably about some intrinsic differences between objects of thought and objects of perception, and about the essential publicity of thought, and hence of its objects. Travis addresses a number of key questions, including how perception can make the world bear for the perceiver on the thing for him to do or think; what it might be for there to be perceptual experiences indistinguishable from ones of perceiving (hence from experiences of one's surroundings); what it might be for things to look a certain way to the experiencer, where this is not for things to look that way; what the upshot of (sub-personal) perceptual processing might be, what sorts of capacities are drawn on in representing something as (being) something. Besides Frege, the essays owe much to J. L. Austin, something to J. M. Hinton, and more than a little to John McDowell and to Thompson Clarke. They engage critically with McDowell and with Clarke, as well as with such philosophers as Christopher Peacocke, Tyler Burge, Jerry Fodor, Elisabeth Anscombe, A. J. Ayer, and H. A. Prichard.

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