In Defense Of J. Valberg's The Puzzle Of Experience

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In The Puzzle of Experience, J. J. Valberg argues that, concerning the content of our visual experience, there is contention between the answer derived from reasoning and that found when 'open to experience '. The former leads to the conviction that a physical object can never be “the object of experience,” while with the latter “all we find is the world” (18). After first clarifying what is meant by 'object of experience ', the 'problematic reasoning ' will then be detailed. Afterwards, it will be explained how being 'open to experience ' opposes the reasoning, as well as why the resulting “puzzle” cannot be easily resolved. Lastly, a defence of Valberg 's argument will be offered on the grounds that it relevantly captures how we understand our visual …show more content…

To avoid circularity in the reasoning, Valberg seeks a definition of 'object of experience ' which does not presume to include or exclude external objects. Firstly, such an object must be “present in experience,” or directly accessible (19). It must also be a particular existing in time, since asserting that an object is directly present in experience requires that it exists here in this moment (20). When the object is present, we are able to fixate on it and to make “demonstrative reference” using terms like 'this ' to indicate the object of our fixation (21). Valberg 's goal is to distinguish the 'object ' implicated by 'object of experience ' from that by 'external object '. The latter usage of 'object ' refers to something, like a book, which exists in the world regardless of whether present in experience, so 'thing ' is a fitting replacement (22). In contrast, an internal object, such as a hallucinated book, depends on presence in experience for existence because it is “not

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