Visual acquaintance, action and the explanatory gap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Much attention has recently been paid to the idea, which I label ‘External World Acquaintance’ (EWA), that the phenomenal character of perceptual experience is partially constituted by external features. One motivation for EWA which has received relatively little discussion is its alleged ability to help deal with the ‘Explanatory Gap’. I provide a reformulation of this general line of thought, which makes clearer how and when EWA could help to explain the specific phenomenal nature of visual experience. In particular, I argue that by focusing on the different kinds of perceptual actions that are available in the case of visual spatial vs. colour perception, we get a natural explana-tion for why we should expect the specific nature of colour phenomenology to remain less readily intelligible than the specific nature of visual spatial phenomenology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S4081-S4106
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquaintance
  • Action
  • Appearances
  • Color
  • Color primitivism
  • Embodied cognition
  • Enactivism
  • Explanatory gap
  • Hard problem of consciousness
  • Naïve-realism
  • Perception
  • Perceptual experience
  • Perspective
  • Phenomenal consciousness
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy of mind
  • Representationalism
  • Sensorimotor
  • Spatial perception
  • Vision
  • Visual experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences


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