Representationalism and the scene-immediacy of visual experience: A journey to the fringe and back

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Both visual experience and conscious thought represent external objects, but in visual experience these objects seem present before the mind and available for direct access in a way that they don't in conscious thought. In this paper, I introduce a couple of challenges that this "Scene-Immediacy" of visual experience raises for traditional versions of Representationalism. I then identify a resource to which Representationalists can appeal in addressing these challenges: the low-detail fringe of visual experience. I argue that low-detail contents within visual experience provide the mind with a rich access to additional high-detail information, an access that is not found in conscious thought. This access, in turn, speaks to the challenges raised by the Scene-Immediacy of visual experience. Robert Schroer is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota at Duluth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-615
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012


  • Consciousness
  • Perceptual Presence
  • Representationalism
  • Scene-Immediacy
  • The Fringe of Consciousness


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