Organon F

Volume 27, February 2020, Issue 1, Pages 2–28

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article

The Ontological Importance of Being a Perceptual Attitude

Sebastián Sanhueza Rodríguez 


Current philosophical debates about perception have largely ignored questions concerning the ontological structure of perceptual experience, so as to focus on its intentional and phenomenological character. To illustrate and put pressure on this tendency, I revisit the controversy between doxastic views of perception and Gareth Evans’s objection from over-intellectualization. I suggest that classic versions of the doxastic view are to a good extent driven by an ontological characterization of perceptual attitudes as nonfactive states or dispositions, not by a cognitively complex picture of perceptual content. Conceived along these lines, the doxastic view unveils an ontologically significant story of perceptual experience for at least two reasons: on the one hand, that characterization avoids the line of reasoning leading up to sense-datum theories of perception; and, on the other, it bears on recent discussions about the temporal structure of perceptual experience. Although I do not endorse the doxastic view, my goal is to highlight the importance of the relatively neglected ontological motivations thus driving that kind of account.


Nonfactivity; perceptual attitudes; processes; relationalism; representationalism; states.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Sebastián Sanhueza Rodríguez


Catholic University of Maule


Faculty of Religious and Philosophical Studies and The Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neurosciences Research Center, Catholic University of Maule, Avenida San Miguel 3605, Talca, Maule Region, Chile


About this article


30 October 2018


17 April 2019

Published online

2 June 2019


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Sanhueza Rodríguez, S. (2020). The Ontological Importance of Being a Perceptual Attitude. Organon F27(1), 2–28.


Sanhueza Rodríguez, Sebastián. 2020. "The Ontological Importance of Being a Perceptual Attitude." Organon F 27 (1): 2–28.


Sanhueza Rodríguez, S. (2020). The Ontological Importance of Being a Perceptual Attitude. Organon F, 27(1), pp. 2–28.

Copyright information

© Sebastián Sanhueza Rodríguez

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