The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 118, Issue 4, April 2021

Frédérique de Vignemont
Pages 169-187

A Minimal Sense of Here-ness

In this paper, I give an account of a hitherto neglected kind of ‘here’, which does not work as an intentional indexical. Instead, it automatically refers to the immediate perceptual environment of the subject’s body, which is known as peripersonal space. In between the self and the external world, there is something like a buffer zone, a place in which objects and events have a unique immediate significance for the subject because they may soon be in contact with her. I argue that seeing objects as being here in a minimal sense means seeing them in the place in which the perceptual system expects the world and the body to collide. I further argue that this minimal notion of here-content gives rise to a tactile sense of presence. It provides a unique experiential access to the reality of the seen object by making us aware of its ability to have an effect on us.