Grand Illusion

Abstract
We seem, or so it seems to some theorists, to experience a rich stream of highly detailed information concerning an extensive part of our current visual surroundings. But this appearance, it has been suggested, is in some way illusory. Our brains do not command richly detailed internal models of the current scene. Our seeings, it seems, are not all that they seem. This, then, is the Grand Illusion. We think we see much more than we actually do. In this paper I shall (briefly) rehearse the empirical evidence for this rather startling claim, and then critically examine a variety of responses. One especially interesting response is a development of the so-called ‘skill theory’, according to which there is no illusion after all. Instead, so the theory goes, we establish the required visual contact with our world by an ongoing process of active exploration, in which the world acts as a kind of reliable, interrogable, external memory (Noe, Pessoa and Thompson (2000), Noe (2001). The most fully worked-out versions of this response ( Noe and O’Regan (2000), O’Regan and Noe 2001) tend, however, to tie the contents of conscious visual experience rather too tightly to quite low-level features of this ongoing sensorimotor engagement. This (I shall argue) undervalues the crucial links between perceptual experience, reason and intentional action, and opens the door to a problem that I will call ‘sensorimotor chauvinism’: the premature welding of experiential contents to very specific details of our embodiment and sensory apparatus. Drawing on the dual visual systems hypothesis of Milner and Goodale (1995), I sketch an alternative version of the skill theory, in which the relation between conscious visual experience and the low-level details of sensorimotor engagement is indirect and non-constitutive. The hope is thus to embrace the genuine insights of the skill theory response, while depicting conscious visual experience as most tightly geared to knowing and reasoning about our world..
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,018
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Andy Clark & Josefa Toribio (2001). Sensorimotor Chauvinism? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):979-980.
Alva Noë (2002). Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion? Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (5-6):1-12.
Jonathan Cohen (2002). The Grand Grand Illusion Illusion. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (5-6):141-157.
Robert Briscoe (2009). Egocentric Spatial Representation in Action and Perception. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):423 - 460.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-12-22

Total downloads

47 ( #34,958 of 1,101,088 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #19,662 of 1,101,088 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.