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Vision

Edited by Casey O'Callaghan (Washington University in St. Louis)
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  1. Joseph Anderson & Barbara Anderson (1993). The Myth of Persistence of Vision Revisited. Journal of Film and Video 45:3--12.
  2. R. B. Angell (1974). The Geometry of Visibles. Noûs 8 (2):87-117.
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  3. István Aranyosi, Through a Shadow, Darkly.
    The dictionary tells you that a shadow is a dark area or volume caused by an opaque object blocking some light. The definition is correct, but we need to clarify a couple of its elements: darkness and blocking. The clarification leads to the view that to see a shadow is a degree of failing to see a surface. I will also argue that seeing a silhouette (i.e. a backlit object) is a particular way of failing to see an object. Thus (...)
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  4. David J. Bennett (2011). How the World Is Measured Up in Size Experience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):345-365.
    I develop a Russellian representationalist account of size experience that draws importantly from contemporary vision science research on size perception. The core view is that size is experienced in ‘body-scaled’ units. So, an object might, say, be experienced as two eye-level units high. The view is sharpened in response to Thompson’s (forthcoming) Doubled Earth example. This example is presented by Thompson as part of an argument for a Fregean view of size experience. But I argue that the Russellian view I (...)
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  5. Suzannah Biernoff (2002). Sight and Embodiment in the Middle Ages. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Sight and Embodiment in the Middle Ages breaks new ground by bringing postmodern writings on vision and embodiment into dialogue with medieval texts and images: an interdisciplinary strategy that illuminates and complicates both cultures. This is an invaluable reference work for anyone interested in the history and theory of visuality, and it is essential reading or scholars of art, science, or spirituality in the medieval period.
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  6. David Blinder (1986). A New Look at Vision. Topoi 5 (September):137-148.
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  7. Robert Briscoe, Depiction, Pictorial Experience, and Vision Science.
    Pictures are 2D surfaces designed to elicit 3D-scene-representing experiences from their viewers. In this essay, I argue that philosophers have tended to underestimate the relevance of research in vision science to understanding the nature of pictorial experience or ‘seeing-in’, to use Richard Wollheim’s familiar expression. Both the deeply entrenched methodology of virtual psychophysics as well as empirical studies of pictorial space perception provide compelling support for the view that seeing-in and seeing face-to-face are experiences of the same psychological, explanatory kind. (...)
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  8. Robert Briscoe (forthcoming). Bodily Action and Distal Attribution in Sensory Substitution. In Fiona Macpherson (ed.), Sensory Substitution and Augmentation. Proceedings of the British Academy
    According to proponents of the sensorimotor contingency theory of perception (Hurley & Noë 2003, Noë 2004, O’Regan 2011), active control of camera movement is necessary for the emergence of distal attribution in tactile-visual sensory substitution (TVSS) because it enables the subject to acquire knowledge of the way stimulation in the substituting modality varies as a function of self-initiated, bodily action. This chapter, by contrast, approaches distal attribution as a solution to a causal inference problem faced by the subject’s perceptual systems. (...)
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  9. Robert Briscoe (2010). Perceiving the Present: Systematization of Illusions or Illusion of Systematization? Cognitive Science 34 (8):1530-1542.
    Mark Changizi et al. (2008) claim that it is possible systematically to organize more than 50 kinds of illusions in a 7 × 4 matrix of 28 classes. This systematization, they further maintain, can be explained by the operation of a single visual processing latency correction mechanism that they call “perceiving the present” (PTP). This brief report raises some concerns about the way a number of illusions are classified by the proposed systematization. It also poses two general problems—one empirical and (...)
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  10. Robert Briscoe (2009). Egocentric Spatial Representation in Action and Perception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):423 - 460.
    Neuropsychological findings used to motivate the "two visual systems" hypothesis have been taken to endanger a pair of widely accepted claims about spatial representation in conscious visual experience. The first is the claim that visual experience represents 3-D space around the perceiver using an egocentric frame of reference. The second is the claim that there is a constitutive link between the spatial contents of visual experience and the perceiver's bodily actions. In this paper, I review and assess three main sources (...)
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  11. Robert Briscoe (2008). Vision, Action, and Make‐Perceive. Mind and Language 23 (4):457-497.
    In this paper, I critically assess the enactive account of visual perception recently defended by Alva Noë (2004). I argue inter alia that the enactive account falsely identifies an object’s apparent shape with its 2D perspectival shape; that it mistakenly assimilates visual shape perception and volumetric object recognition; and that it seriously misrepresents the constitutive role of bodily action in visual awareness. I argue further that noticing an object’s perspectival shape involves a hybrid experience combining both perceptual and imaginative elements (...)
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  12. Vicki Bruce & Patrick Green (1985). Visual Perception: Physiology, Psychology, and Ecology. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  13. Tyler Burge (1989). Marr's Theory of Vision. In Modularity in Knowledge Representation and Natural-Language Understanding. Cambridge: MIT Press
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  14. F. Thomas Burke (2011). Inverse Gnomonic Projection of Plane Regions. Wolfram Demonstrations Project.
    This demonstration shows inverse gnomonic projections of flat surface areas lying in a horizontal plane tangent to the projection sphere. It shows how optical surface area varies regularly as the distance of the respective surface area from the eye varies, decreasing as the latter increases. According to ecological psychology, this kind of regularity or "invariant" is what sensory systems are designed to detect. Attunement to such invariants in the interactions of eyes and terrains make possible the perception of distance and (...)
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  15. Dan Cavedon-Taylor (2013). Seeing and Retinal Stability: On a Sensorimotor Argument for the Necessity of Eye Movement for Sight. Philosophical Psychology 26 (2):263 - 266.
    Sensorimotor theorists of perception have argued that eye movement is a necessary condition for seeing on the basis that subjects whose retinal images do not move undergo a form of blindness. I show that the argument does not work.
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  16. Paul M. Churchland (1995). Machine Stereopsis: A Feedforward Network for Fast Stereo Vision with Movable Fusion Plane. In Android Epistemology. Cambridge: MIT Press
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  17. Paul M. Churchland (1995). Android Epistemology. Cambridge: MIT Press.
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  18. Austen Clark (1996). Three Varieties of Visual Field. Philosophical Psychology 9 (4):477-95.
    The goal of this paper is to challenge the rather insouciant attitude that many investigators seem to adopt when they go about describing the items and events in their "visual fields". There are at least three distinct categories of interpretation of what these reports might mean, and only under one of those categories do those reports have anything resembling an observational character. The others demand substantive revisions in one's beliefs about what one sees. The ur-concept of a "visual field" is (...)
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  19. Phillip D. Cummins (1987). On the Status of Visuals in Berkeley's 'New Theory of Vision'. In Ernest Sosa (ed.), Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley. D. Reidel
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  20. James E. Cutting (2003). Reconceiving Perceptual Space. In Heiko Hecht, Robert Schwartz & Margaret Atherton (eds.), Looking Into Pictures. The MIT Press
  21. John Dilworth (2002). Varieties of Visual Representation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):183-206.
    Pictorial representation is one species of visual representation--but not the only one, I argue. There are three additional varieties or species of visual representation--namely 'structural', 'aspect' and 'integrative' representation--which together comprise a category of 'delineative' rather than depictive visual representation. I arrive at this result via consideration of previously neglected orientational factors that serve to distinguish the two categories. I conclude by arguing that pictures (unlike 'delineations') are not physical objects, and that their multiplicity and modal narrowness motivates a view (...)
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  22. B. A. Farrell (1977). On the Psychological Explanation of Visual Perception. Synthese 35 (3):353 - 379.
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  23. Veronique M. Foti (2003). Vision's Invisibles: Philosophical Explorations. State University of New York Press.
    Examines the construction of vision in the works of Heraclitus, Plato, Descartes, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Nancy, and Derrida.
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  24. Vadim D. Glezer (1989). Vision and Mind. In Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, VIII. New York: Elsevier Science
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  25. Mirko D. Grmek (1985). Un Débat Scientifique Exemplaire: Mariotte, Pecquet Et Perrault À la Recherche du Siège de la Perception Visuelle. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 7 (2):217 - 255.
    Mariotte's discovery of the blind spot is often quoted, but his contribution to the physiology of vision is generally underestimated. Surprised by the result of his fundamental experiment, Mariotte abandoned his starting hypothesis on the physiological role of the retina and came to the conclusion that the site of vision is the 'choroid'. This was the name not only for the choroid layer in the modern sense but also for the pigmentated part of the retina, where Mariotte localized the seat (...)
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  26. David W. Hamlyn (1957). The Visual Field and Perception, Part I. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107:107-124.
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  27. Gary C. Hatfield (2009). Perception and Cognition: Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford University Press.
    Representation and content in some (actual) theories of perception -- Representation in perception and cognition : task analysis, psychological functions, and rule instantiation -- Perception as unconscious inference -- Representation and constraints : the inverse problem and the structure of visual space -- On perceptual constancy -- Getting objects for free (or not) : the philosophy and psychology of object perception -- Color perception and neural encoding : does metameric matching entail a loss of information? -- Objectivity and subjectivity revisited (...)
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  28. Heiko Hecht, Robert Schwartz & Margaret Atherton (eds.) (2003). Looking Into Pictures. The MIT Press.
    Interdisciplinary explorations of the implications of recent developments in vision theory for our understanding of the nature of pictorial representation and ...
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  29. Christopher S. Hill, Visual Awareness and Visual Qualia.
    Department of Philosophy Brown University Providence, RI 02915.
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  30. Christopher S. Hill (2008). Review of Zenon W. Pylyshyn, Things and Places: How the Mind Connects with the World. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (7).
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  31. Robert Hopkins (2000). Touching Pictures. British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (1):149-167.
    Congenitally blind people can make and understand ‘tactile pictures’ – representations form of raised ridges on flat surfaces. If made visible, these representations can serve as pictures for the sighted. Does it follow that we should take at face value the idea that they are pictures made for touch? I explore this question, and the related issue of the aesthetics of ‘tactile pictures’ by considering the role in both depiction and pictorial aesthetics of experience, and by asking how far the (...)
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  32. Mariann Hudak, Zoltan Jakab & Ilona Kovacs (2013). Phenomenal Qualities and the Development of Perceptual Integration. In Liliana Albertazzi (ed.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Experimental Phenomenology; Visual Perception of Shape, Space and Appearance. Wiley-Blackwell
    In this chapter, data concerning the development of principal aspects of vision is reviewed. First, the development of colour vision and luminance perception is discussed. Relevant data accumulated so far indicates that perception of colour and luminance is present by 6-9 months of age. The presence of typical color illusions at this age suggests that the phenomenal character of color experience is comparable to that of adults well before the first birthday. Thus it seems plausible that color perception develops on (...)
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  33. John Hyman (1986). The Cartesian Theory of Vision. Ratio 28 (December):149-167.
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  34. James H. Hyslop (1888). On Wundt's Theory of Psychic Synthesis in Vision. Mind 13 (52):499-526.
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  35. Tomis Kapitan (1998). Vision, Vector, Veracity. In Christian Strub (ed.), Blick Und Bild. Wilhelm Fink Verlag
    To experience is to undergo a process, to be in a state of receiving input which affords information about our environment. For highly developed beings like ourselves, the inputs determining states of conscious sensory perception are among the most important for our survival. At first glance, these states seem relational, each being a situation wherein a percipient X is passively conscious of something Y--its object, subject-matter, or content--without any apparent effort. Of course, the briefest reflection convinces us that despite a (...)
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  36. David Kirsh (2013). Embodied Cognition and the Magical Future of Interaction Design. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 20 (1):30.
    The theory of embodied cognition can provide HCI practitioners and theorists with new ideas about interac-tion and new principles for better designs. I support this claim with four ideas about cognition: (1) interacting with tools changes the way we think and perceive – tools, when manipulated, are soon absorbed into the body schema, and this absorption leads to fundamental changes in the way we perceive and conceive of our environments; (2) we think with our bodies not just with our brains; (...)
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  37. Jan Koenderink (forthcoming). “Towards a New Theory of Vision” Revisited. Topoi:1-11.
    I consider the geometrical structure of the apparent visual field. Although the optics of vision is well understood, the nature of visual awareness remains largely in the dark. A famous attempt at a formal description of the apparent visual field was by Helmholtz, in the late nineteenth century. It purportedly explains the phenomenon of the subjective curvatures often reported when viewing objectively straight lines of great extent. I consider the general problem, and suggest an alternative formal account. On phenomenological grounds (...)
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  38. A. C. Lloyd (1957). The Visual Field and Perception, Part II. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 125:125-144.
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  39. Michael Martin (1992). Sight and Touch. In Tim Crane (ed.), The Contents of Experience. New York: Cambridge University Press
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  40. Farid Masrour, Space Perception, Visual Dissonance and the Fate of Standard Representationalism.
    This paper argues that a common form of representationalism has trouble accommodating empirical findings about visual space perception. Vision science tells us that the visual system systematically gives rise to different experiences of the same spatial property. This, combined with a naturalistic account of content, suggests that the same spatial property can have different veridical looks. I use this to argue that a common form of representationalism about spatial experience must be rejected. I conclude by considering alternatives to this view.
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  41. Farid Masrour (2015). The Geometry of Visual Space and the Nature of Visual Experience. Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1813-1832.
    Some recently popular accounts of perception account for the phenomenal character of perceptual experience in terms of the qualities of objects. My concern in this paper is with naturalistic versions of such a phenomenal externalist view. Focusing on visual spatial perception, I argue that naturalistic phenomenal externalism conflicts with a number of scientific facts about the geometrical characteristics of visual spatial experience.
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  42. Filip Mattens (2013). Perception and Representation: Mind the Hand! In The Hand: An Organ of the Mind. MIT Press. 159-184.
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  43. Mohan Matthen (2015). Introduction to Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Perception. In Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press 1-25.
    Perception is the ultimate source of our knowledge about contingent facts. It is an extremely important philosophical development that starting in the last quarter of the twentieth century, philosophers have begun to change how they think of perception. The traditional view of perception focussed on sensory receptors; it has become clear, however, that perceptual systems radically transform the output of these receptors, yielding content concerning objects and events in the external world. Adequate understanding of this process requires that we think (...)
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  44. Mohan Matthen (2007). Defining Vision: What Homology Thinking Contributes. Biology and Philosophy 22 (5):675-689.
    The specialization of visual function within biological function is reason for introducing “homology thinking” into explanations of the visual system. It is argued that such specialization arises when organisms evolve by differentiation from their predecessors. Thus, it is essentially historical, and visual function should be regarded as a lineage property. The colour vision of birds and mammals do not function the same way as one another, on this account, because each is an adaptation to special needs of the visual functions (...)
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  45. Mohan P. Matthen (2005). Seeing, Doing, and Knowing: A Philosophical Theory of Sense Perception. Oxford University Press.
    Seeing, Doing, and Knowing is an original and comprehensive philosophical treatment of sense perception as it is currently investigated by cognitive neuroscientists. Its central theme is the task-oriented specialization of sensory systems across the biological domain; these systems coevolve with an organism's learning and action systems, providing the latter with classifications of external objects in terms of sensory categories purpose--built for their need. On the basis of this central idea, Matthen presents novel theories of perceptual similarity, content, and realism. His (...)
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  46. Boyd Millar (2014). The Phenomenological Problem of Perception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):625-654.
    A perceptual experience of a given object seems to make the object itself present to the perceiver’s mind. Many philosophers have claimed that naïve realism (the view that to perceive is to stand in a primitive relation of acquaintance to the world) provides a better account of this phenomenological directness of perceptual experience than does the content view (the view that to perceive is to represent the world to be a certain way). But the naïve realist account of this phenomenology (...)
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  47. Boyd Millar (2013). Colour Constancy and Fregean Representationalism. Philosophical Studies 164 (1):219-231.
    All representationalists maintain that there is a necessary connection between an experience’s phenomenal character and intentional content; but there is a disagreement amongst representationalists regarding the nature of those intentional contents that are necessarily connected to phenomenal character. Russellian representationalists maintain that the relevant contents are composed of objects and/or properties, while Fregean representationalists maintain that the relevant contents are composed of modes of presentation of objects and properties. According to Fregean representationalists such as David Chalmers and Brad Thompson, the (...)
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  48. Boyd Millar (2006). The Conflicted Character of Picture Perception. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (4):471–477.
    It is often assumed that there is a perceptual conflict in looking at a picture since one sees both a two-dimensional surface and a three-dimensional scene simultaneously. In this paper, I argue that it is a mistake to think that looking at pictures requires the visual system to perform the special task of reconciling inconsistent impressions of space, or competing information from different depth cues. To the contrary, I suggest that there are good reasons to think that the perception of (...)
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  49. Richard Montgomery (1989). Discrimination, Reidentification and the Indeterminacy of Early Vision. Noûs 23 (September):413-435.
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  50. Bence Nanay (2015). The History of Vision. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (3):259-271.
    One of the most influential ideas of twentieth-century art history and aesthetics is that vision has a history and it is the task of art history to trace how vision has changed. This claim has recently been attacked for both empirical and conceptual reasons. My aim is to argue for a new version of the history of vision claim: if visual attention has a history, then vision also has a history. And we have some reason to think that at least (...)
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