Philosophy: Access and Report

Perception gives us access to the world around us insofar as it enables us to register and use information that we receive from our environment. Linguistic reports are just one way in which information can be registered and used. The registration and use of information that constitutes perception requires something more than the eliciting of a distinctive bodily change in response to a particular feature in the environment; a nearby magnetic field may have a distinctive effect on a person's body without that person perceiving the magnetic field, and a slight shift in the vibrations of a plucked string may result in a corresponding shift in the vibrations of an eardrum without that shift being perceived. The registration and use of information requires something less ...

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