Abstract

There is a view abroad on which (a) perceptual experience has (a) representational content in this sense: in it something is represented to the perceiver as so. On the view, a perceptual experience has a face value at which it may be taken, or which may be rejected. This paper argues that that view is mistaken: there is nothing in perceptual experience which makes it so that in it anything is represented as so (except insofar as the perceiver represents things to himself as so). In that sense, the senses are silent, or, in Austin's term, dumb. Perceptual experience is not as such either veridical or delusive. It may mislead, but it does not take representation to accomplish that.

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