Precision and Perceptual Clarity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


When we see objects blurrily, in the periphery, or in dim light, we often experience their features unclearly. This paper argues that perceptual clarity is a dimension along which experiences vary, distinct from their distal contents. Drawing on models in perception science, the paper accounts for clarity by using the probabilistic notion of precision. The account’s first part is ecumenical: it says that experiences carry information about the precision of the representations from which each distal content of experience was selected and that this precision information accounts for perceptual clarity. The account’s second part entails that experiences carry the relevant precision information in the manner in which their distal contents are represented. The precision account of clarity is shown to conform to common intuitions about experiences’ contents and accuracy conditions. And it is used to illustrate how experiences could assign probability distributions over distal possibilities, even while experiences’ contents are non-probabilistic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-395
Number of pages17
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Bayes
  • binocular rivalry
  • experience
  • perception
  • perceptual clarity
  • perceptual confidence
  • precision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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