CFP: Topoi: Perception Without Representation

Submission deadline: November 15, 2013

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Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy

Perception Without Representation

Deadline for Submission: 15 November 2013

Topoi: An International Review of Philosophy
(, will publish a
special issue on Perception without Representation. The final deadline
for submitted papers is 15 November 2013.

Guest Editors:

Keith A. Wilson, University of Sussex
Roberta Locatelli, University Paris 1/University of Warwick

Invited Contributors:

Bill Brewer, King’s College London
Berit Brogaard, University of Missouri, St. Louis
John Campbell, University of California, Berkeley
Jérôme Dokic, Institut Jean-Nicod, Paris
Naomi Eilan, University of Warwick
Matthew Soteriou, University of Warwick
Mike Martin, UCL / University of California, Berkeley (TBC)
Charles Travis, King's College London / Instituto de Filosofia Universidade do Porto (TBC)


According to current orthodoxy, common to philosophers, psychologists
and cognitive scientists, perceptual states have representational
content, i.e. they represent the world as being a certain way. The
representational content of perceptual experience (which need not be
conceptual) can be accurate or inaccurate, i.e. its representing that
an object has certain properties can be veridical or not. An
increasingly influential trend, however, has begun to criticise this
view, instead claiming that perception has no content. On this view,
to perceptually experience an object is not to represent it to be some
particular way, but for the perceiving agent to stand in a particular
relation to the object perceived—the so-called relational view.

Too often such debates have been dominated by mutual incomprehension,
stigmatisation or mischaracterisation of the opponent’s position
whilst failing to recognise its merits or even to take the alternative
option seriously. This journal issue aims to clarify some different
problems that are at stake within the current debate, highlighting
various points of agreement and contention, and developing them in an
original and constructive way.


The aim of the volume will be to set out the debate in a way that
stimulates and encourages genuine engagement and progress on these
important issues. We welcome contributions from all sides of the
debate on (though not limited to) the following topics:

- Is it true, as sometimes claimed, that the content view better
explains perceptual phenomenology or phenomenal character?

- What accounts of perceptual phenomenology are available to proponents
of a relational view? Are these any more or less plausible than those
of the content view?

- Could perceptual appearances ever provide compelling evidence for
or against the existence of representational content?

- What is the explanatory role (or roles) of perceptual content in
relation to phenomenal character, perceptual awareness and

- How does perceptual content (or the lack of it) bear upon the
epistemic role of perception?

- The relational view is sometimes taken to be the best, or most
straightforward, way to make sense of the intuition that we have
direct, unmediated access to objects and their properties. But in what
sense does representational content constitute an intermediary?
Conversely, how are we to make sense of such direct access in a
content view?

- To what extent are content and relational views incompatible, and are
hybrid ‘compatibilist’ views of experience equally coherent or

- Is the existence or absence of perceptual content compatible with
empirical research into the underlying physiological mechanisms of


All papers should be prepared for double-blind peer review following
international standard practices. Submissions for this issue should be
made through Topoi Editorial Manager
(, selecting ‘S.I.:
Perception without representation (Locatelli/Wilson)’ as the article

Please save your manuscript in one of the formats supported by the
system (Word, WordPerfect, RTF, TXT, LaTeX2E, TeX, Postscript, etc.),
which does NOT include PDF. Formatting instructions for submissions
can be found at:
(click ‘Information for Guest Editors and Authors’ on the right).

Papers must be in English and should not exceed 8,000 words, though
there is no minimum length. Each submission should also include a
title page containing contact details, a brief abstract and list of
keywords for indexing purposes.

For further information, please email:
[email protected]

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