Three varieties of visual field

Philosophical Psychology 9 (4):477-95 (1996)
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 that of the "sum of things seen", but one can interpret the latter in very different ways. The first is the "field of view", or the sum of physical things seen. The second is an array of visual impressions, whose spatial relations are distinct from those of physical phenomena in front of the eyes. The third is an intentional object: the world as it is represented visually. These three categories are described, and various locutions of vision science--such as "optic array", "retinocentric space", "visual geometry", "virtual object" and others--are analyzed and variously located within them. Finally, a recent argument purporting to necessitate the existence of a version two visual field is examined and shown wanting.
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DOI 10.1080/09515089608573196
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Casey O'Callaghan (2010). Perceiving the Locations of Sounds. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (1):123--140.
Louise Richardson (2010). Seeing Empty Space. European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):227-243.

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