The process of experience




Grube, Enrico

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Perceptual experience seems to relate us not only to non-temporal features of objects such as colors and shapes, but also to certain temporal properties such as succession and duration, as well as to the sensible properties of temporally extended events such as movements and other kinds of change. But can such properties really be represented in experience itself, and if so, what does this tell us about the nature of experience? Different theories of time consciousness answer this question in different ways. Atomists deny that experience represents temporal properties and maintain instead that in experience we only represent non-temporal properties, "snapshots" of the world. Retentionalists maintain that, while experiences may be instantaneous mental states, they simultaneously represent temporally extended periods of time, while extensionalists claim that experiences themselves extend in time, either only for very short periods or over whole streams of consciousness. I articulate and defend a version of the latter view, which I call 'simple extensionalism', lay out its ontological foundations, and argue that it accounts for the temporal phenomena of perceptual experience better than its rivals.




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