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Philosophy of perception, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Perceptionsfilosofi

This syllabus is valid: 2015-01-19 and until further notice

Course code: 1FL102

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Philosophy: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: Three-grade scale

Responsible department: Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Established by: Faculty director of studies, Faculty of arts, 2015-03-12


This course is an advanced introduction to the philosophy of perception. It focuses on questions like: What are we aware of when we hallucinate?  And what are we aware of when we have non-hallucinatory, veridical perceptions? Do we, in perception, always directly experience intermediaries between ourselves and objects in our external environment?  Or is there some interesting sense in which we can “directly” perceive external objects? In what ways do our perceptions depend on our beliefs?  And in what ways do our beliefs depend on our perceptions? The main focus will be on contemporary philosophical literature, but we will make some contact with historical texts and with empirical research.

Expected learning outcomes

After having completed the course the students will have:
Knowledge and understanding:

  • displayed considerable knowledge and understanding of central concepts, theories, problems, and arguments in contemporary philosophy of perception

Skill and ability:

  • displayed an ability to write philosophical texts of good linguistic quality
  • displayed an ability to produce and assess arguments concerning the course materials

Assessment and attitude:

  • displayed an understanding of strengths and weaknesses of central theories in contemporary philosophy of perception

Required Knowledge

Univ: 90 ECTS credits in a philosophy, cognitive science, psychology,  or similar. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A (IELTS (Academic) with a minimum overall score of 5.5 and no individual score below 5.0. TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) with a minimum total score of 530 and a minimum TWE score of 4. TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) with a minimum total score of 72 and a minimum score of 17 on the Writing Section). Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

Instruction consists of internet based lectures and seminars.
Students are required to have access to a computer and a stable internet connection.

Examination modes

The examination consists of writing assignments and active participation in seminars. On the course as a whole, the grades given are Fail (U), Pass (G), or Pass with Distinction (VG). In order to pass the course as a whole, all mandatory parts must be passed as well. The final grade of the course is a summary assessment of the results and decided only after all mandatory parts are passed.

For students who do not pass the regular examination there is another opportunity to do the examination within three months and a third opportunity within one year. A student who has passed an examination may not be re-examined.

A student who has failed two examinations for a course or segment of a course, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless there are special reasons (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 6, section 22). Requests for new examiners are made to the Faculty of Humanities.

Academic credit transfer
Transfer of credits is handled by Student Services/Degree Evaluation Office. See http://www.student.umu.se/english/getting-your-degree/transfer-of-credits/


Valid from: 2017 week 6

Fish William
Philosophy of perception : a contemporary introduction
New York : Routledge : 2010. : ix, 177 p. :
ISBN: 9780415999120
Search the University Library catalogue

Russell Bertrand
The problems of philosophy.
London : William and Norgate : [u.å.] : 255 s. :

Harman Gilbert
"The Intrinsic Quality of Experience"
Philosophical Perspectives 4 : 1990 :

Dretske Fred I.
Naturalizing the mind [electronic resource]
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press : c1995. : xvi, 208 p. :
ISBN: 0585003033
Search the University Library catalogue

Block Ned
"Mental Paint" in Reflections and Replies: Essays on the Philosophy of Tyler Burge
edited by Martin Hahn and Bjorn. Ramberg, 165-200 . MIT Press : 2003 :

Dretske Fred
"Experience as Representation"
Philosophical Issues 13 (1): 67-82 : 2003 :

Allen Keith
Philosophical Studies 162 (2): 257-73 : 2013 :

McDowell John Henry
Mind and world
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press : 1994 : x, 191 s. :
ISBN: 0-674-57609-8
Search the University Library catalogue

Byrne Alex
"Perception and Conceptual Content"
In Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, edited by Ernest Sosa and Matthias Steup. Oxford: Blackwell : 2005 :

Roskies Adina L.
"A New Argument for Nonconceptual Content"
Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3) : 2008 :

Martin Michael G.F.
"The Limits of Self-awareness"
Philosophical Studies 120 (1-3) : 2004 :

Johnston Mark
"The Obscure Object of Hallucination"
Philosophical Studies 120 (1-3) : 2004 :

Siegel Susanna
"Which Properties Are Represented in Perception?"
In Perceptual Experience, edited by Tamar Gendler and John Hawthorne. Oxford University Press : 2006 :