David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Draft Available on Author's Homepage; Final Version in 2011 Monograph (2009)
This chapter raises a number of questions, not adequately addressed by any researcher to date, about what we see when our eyes are closed. In the historical literature, the question most frequently discussed was what we see when our eyes are closed in the dark (and so entirely or almost entirely deprived of light). In 1819, Purkinje, who was the first to write extensively about this, says he sees "wandering cloudy stripes" that shrink slowly toward the center of the field. Other later authors also say such stripes are commonly seen, but they differ about their characteristics. In 1897, for example, Scripture describes them as spreading violet rings. After Scripture, the cloudy stripes disappear from psychologists' reports. Other psychologists describe the darkened visual field as typically -- not just idiosyncratically, for themselves -- very nearly black (e.g., Fechner), mostly neutral gray (e.g., Hering), or bursting with color and shape (e.g., Ladd). I loaned beepers to five subjects and collected their reports about randomly sampled moments of experience with their eyes closed. Their reports were highly variable, and one subject denied ever having any visual experience at all (not even of blackness or grayness) in any of his samples. I also briefly discuss a few other issues: whether we can see through our eyelids, whether the closed-eye visual field is "cyclopean", whether the field is flat or has depth or distance, and whether we can control it directly by acts of will. The resolution of such questions, I suggest, will not be straightforward.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Matthew Nudds (2001). Experiencing the Production of Sounds. European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):210-229.
Peter Murphy (2006). A Strategy for Assessing Closure. Erkenntnis 65 (3):365-383.
Carol Wood (1979). Notes on the Stability of Separably Closed Fields. Journal of Symbolic Logic 44 (3):412-416.
Peter Murphy (2006). A Strategy for Assessing Closure. Erkenntnis 65 (3):365 - 383.
Sven Ove Hansson (1992). In Defense of Base Contraction. Synthese 91 (3):239 - 245.
Alicia Ouellette (2009). Eyes Wide Open: Surgery to Westernize the Eyes of an Asian Child. Hastings Center Report 39 (1):15-18.
Frederick T. Travis & R. K. Wallace (1999). Autonomic and EEG Patterns During Eyes-Closed Rest and Transcendental Meditation (TM) Practice: The Basis for a Neural Model of TM Practice. Consciousness and Cognition 8 (3):302-318.
Michael G. F. Martin (1998). Setting Things Before the Mind. In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Current Issues in Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press 157--179.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads46 ( #79,258 of 1,780,582 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #291,765 of 1,780,582 )
How can I increase my downloads?