Better than Mere Knowledge? The Function of Sensory Awareness

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the function of sensory awareness for perception in two ways. First, it addresses how sensory awareness functions so as to make available external items as objects of immediate demonstration. Second, it addresses how sensory awareness serves as grounding for that which is judged and predicated of the external items. These issues are taken up with the aid of an analogy between perception and digestion. In particular, it is argued that the function of sensory experience is to directly present truthmakers which guarantee the truth of the immediate judgments made about the sensed scenarios. Sensory experience provides us with direct awareness of environmental particulars, and immediate perceptual judgments of some feature of an environmental particular are then grounded in that direct sensory awareness. In this way, what is sensed can make true what is immediately judged on the basis of sensing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPerceptual Experience
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191711046
ISBN (Print)9780199289769
StatePublished - May 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Counterfactual
  • Digestive-realism
  • Hallucination
  • Immediate perceptual judgment
  • Qualia
  • Searle
  • Sense datum theory
  • Sensory awareness
  • The wallpaper view
  • Truthmakers


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