David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 39 (1):309-351 (2005)
Imagine yourself sitting on your front porch, sipping your morning coffee and admiring the scene before you. You see trees, houses, people, automobiles; you see a cat running across the road, and a bee buzzing among the flowers. You see that the flowers are yellow, and blowing in the wind. You see that the people are moving about, many of them on bicycles. You see that the houses are painted different colors, mostly earth tones, and most are one-story but a few are two-story. It is a beautiful morning. Thus the world interfaces with your mind through your senses. There is a strong intuition that we are not disconnected from the world. We and the other things we see around us are part of a continuous whole, and we have direct access to them through vision, touch, etc. However, the philosophical tradition tries to drive a wedge between us and the world by insisting that the information we get from perception is the result of inference from indirect evidence that is about how things look and feel to us. The philosophical problem of perception is then to explain what justifies these inferences. We will focus on visual perception. Figure one presents a crude diagram of the cognitive system of an agent capable of forming beliefs on the basis of visual perception. Cognition begins with the stimulation of the rods and cones on the retina. From that physical input, some kind of visual processing produces an introspectible visual image. In response to the production of the visual image, the cognizer forms beliefs about his or her surroundings. Some beliefs the perceptual beliefs are formed as direct responses to the visual input, and other beliefs are inferred from the perceptual beliefs. The perceptual beliefs are, at the very least, caused or causally influenced by having the image. This is signified by the dashed arrow marked with a large question mark. We will refer to this as the mystery link. Figure one makes it apparent that in order to fully understand how knowledge is based on perception, we need three different theories..
|Keywords||Color Direct Realism Epistemology Knowledge Perception Properties Recognition Shape Vision|
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References found in this work BETA
Jerry A. Fodor (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press.
David Marr (1982). Vision. Freeman.
Wilfrid Sellars (1963). Science, Perception, and Reality. New York, Humanities Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Chris Tucker (2010). Why Open-Minded People Should Endorse Dogmatism. Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):529-545.
Alexander Jackson (2011). Appearances, Rationality, and Justified Belief. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):564-593.
Peter Markie (2009). Classical Foundationalism and Speckled Hens. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (1):190-206.
Benjamin Bayer (2011). A Role for Abstractionism in a Direct Realist Foundationalism. Synthese 180 (3):357-389.
Walter Hopp (2009). Conceptualism and the Myth of the Given. European Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):363-385.
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Zenon W. Pylyshyn (2001). Connecting Vision with the World: Tracking the Missing Link. In Joao Branquinho (ed.), The Foundations of Cognitive Science. Oxford: Clarendon Press 183.
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