David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In this paper I will try to determine the numerical limits of perception and observation in general. Unlike most philosophers who wrote on perception, I will treat perception from a quantitative point of view and not discuss its qualitative features. What I mean is that instead of discussing qualitative aspects of perception, like its accuracy, I will discuss the quantitative aspects of perception, namely its numerical limits. As it turns out, the number of objects one is able perceive is finite, while the number of objects our mind can imagine might be infinite. Thus there must be a level of infinity by which the ‘number’ of objects our mental world can host is bounded. I will use both philosophical assumptions and observations, and mathematical analysis in order to get an estimate of the ‘number’ of objects we could possibly perceive, which surprisingly turns out to be the first level of infinity or the number of natural numbers. I will start by discussing the nature of concrete objects and the way we access them via perception. I will talk about mathematics as well and its relation with perception in order to justify myself for using mathematics as a tool in this paper. After some sections of discussions of various aspects of perception and imagination, I will finally be ready to make a counting and determine what I called “the numerical limits of perception”.
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