Debates surrounding the high-level contents of perceptual experience focus on whether we
perceive the high-level properties of visual objects, such as the property of being a pine tree. This
paper considers instead whether we perceive the high-level properties of visual scenes, such as
the property of being a forest. Liberals about the contents of perceptual experience have offered a
variety of phenomenal contrast cases designed to reveal how the high-level properties of objects
figure in our visual experience. I offer a series of equivalent phenomenal contrast cases intended
to show how the high-level properties of visual scenes also figure in visual experience. This
first-person evidence of high-level scene perception is combined with third-person evidence from
the extensive empirical literature on scene categorisation. Critics of liberalism have attempted to
deflate existing phenomenal contrast cases by explaining the contrasts in terms of non-perceptual
contents or in terms of attentional changes. I show that neither response is applicable to my
contrast cases and conclude that we do indeed perceptually experience the high-level properties
of visual scenes.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2021 Tom McClelland