Visual Experiences without Presentational Phenomenology

  • Kengo Miyazono (Hokkaido University)


A number of philosophers claim that visual experiences have a peculiar phenomenal character that is “presentational”. According to what I call the “Visual Presentationality Thesis”, this peculiar phenomenal character, presentational phenomenology, is not merely a contingent feature but is a necessary feature of visual experiences. Necessarily, visual experiences have presentational phenomenology. The main aim of this paper is to argue against the Visual Presentationality Thesis. I refute the Visual Presentationality Thesis by giving some counterexamples to it. In particular, I give counterexamples from derealization, which is a psychopathological condition that is characterized by the subjective impression of unreality or detachment from one’s surroundings. Derealization is a condition in which patients have visual experiences without presentational phenomenology. I defend this hypothesis about derealization on the basis of an inference to the best explanation; this hypothesis provides the best explanation of (otherwise puzzling) subjective reports by patients with derealization.

How to Cite:

Miyazono, K., (2021) “Visual Experiences without Presentational Phenomenology”, Ergo 8: 19. doi:

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Published on
13 Dec 2021
Peer Reviewed