The paper addresses the issue of human diagrammatic reasoning in the context of Euclidean geometry. It develops several philosophical categories which are useful for a description and an analysis of our experience while reasoning with diagrams. In particular, it draws the attention to the role of seeing-as; it analyzes its implications for proofs in Euclidean geometry and ventures the hypothesis that geometrical judgments are analytic and a priori, after all.
In this paper I examine the frequently made claim that grasping a metaphor is a kind of ‘seeing-as’. I describe several ways in which it might be thought that metaphor-grasping is importantly similar to seeing-as, such that an extension of the latter category is though justified to include the former. For some of these similarities, I suggest they are illusory; for others, I argue that they are shared in virtue of the membership of both seeing-as and metaphor-grasping (...) in some much broader category, and so don’t obviously motivate thinking of metaphor-grasping as seeing-as. My aim is modest: not to deny that metaphor-grasping is a kind of seeing-as, but only to suggest that it should not be too quickly accepted. (shrink)
Kuhn uses the distinction between `(simple) seeing', and `seeing as' in order to claim that among competing paradigms there cannot be found any middle (experiential) ground; nothing `same' can be located behind such radically different paradigm-worlds. He claims that scientists do not see a common something as this thing at one time and as that thing at another. Each time scientists simply see what they see. To claim the contrary is to claim that scientists arrive at their paradigmatic (...) experiences of the world due to an interpretation of something `same' beyond the paradigms,and Kuhn rejects this. The question of whether a common ground can be found behind two or more different paradigmatic world-views relates to many issues in philosophy of science and in general epistemology (e.g., realism-idealism, relativism-objectivism, etc.). As a first approach to these, in this paper I examine the presuppositions of Kuhn's claim, its consistency in the exposition, and its overall viability. I conclude that the actual way in which Kuhn refers to the historical examples he examines undermines his explicit thesis. But also the paradox he himself recognizes in his thought that `though the world does not change with a change of paradigm, the scientists afterward works in a different world' can be solved only if we start to think seriously about the necessity and nature of a `same in the different' behind the competing paradigmatic world-experiences. (shrink)
In this paper I will claim that the different phenomenology of seeing-as experiences of ambiguous figures matches a difference in their intentional content. Such a content is non-conceptual when the relevant seeing-as experience is just an experience of organizational seeing-as. It is partially conceptual when the relevant seeing-as experience is an overall experience of seeing something as a picture that is identical with Wollheim’s seeing-in experience and is constituted by an experience of organizational (...) class='Hi'>seeing-as (its configurational fold) and by an experience of knowingly illusory seeing-as (its recognitional fold). To my mind, Wittgenstein’s reflections on seeing-as have anticipated these claims. (shrink)
The paper argues that the English verb ‘to see’ can denote three different kinds of conscious states of seeing, involving visual experiences, visual seeming states and introspective seeming states, respectively. The case for the claim that there are three kinds of seeing comes from synesthesia and visual imagery. Synesthesia is a relatively rare neurological condition in which stimulation in one sensory or cognitive stream involuntarily leads to associated experiences in a second unstimulated stream. Visual synesthesia is often considered (...) a case of illusory visual experience. This, however, turns out to be a questionable characterization, as there is evidence suggesting that the brain must cognitively process the stimulus in order for the associated synesthetic experience to arise. Furthermore, some very vivid, visual forms of synesthesia do not involve additional processing in the visual cortex. Visual synesthetic experience is likely to be a non-veridical state of seeming rather than an illusory visual experience. Visual seeming states are cognitive states distinct from visual experiences in terms of their representational richness and their neural correlates. Visual seeming states that are non-deviantly causally related to the states of affair they represent constitute a type of non-experiental seeing. Introspective seeming states that are non-deviantly causally related to underlying visual images constitute a second type of non-experiental seeing. The English verb ‘to see’ can denote all three types of seeing, which is to say that ‘to see’ is polysemous. (shrink)
This paper highlights the importance of inter-relationships between language, context, practice and interpretation. These inter-relationships should be of interest to AI researchers working in multi-disciplinary fields such as knowledge based systems, speech and vision. Attention is drawn to the importance of Part II, Section II of Wittgenstein'sPhilosophical Investigations for understanding the enormous complexity of the concept of seeing and how it is woven into an understanding of language and of human relations.
The article is an interpretation of about the first half of chapter xi of part ii of "philosophical investigations". Wittgenstein is treated as having the single aim of arguing down the massive temptation to suppose that the expression 'to see...As...', And such similar expressions as 'to recognize', Record the occurrence of an experience distinct from the experience of simply seeing the object seen as or recognized. Ways are suggested of making a kind of sense of most of the very (...) perplexing remarks in this stretch of the "investigations". (shrink)
In the constitution of contemporary image theory, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy has undoubtedly become a major conceptual reference. Rather than trying to establish what Wittgenstein’s own image theory could possibly look like, this paper would like to critically assess some of the advantages as well as some of the quandaries that arise when using Wittgenstein’s concept of ‘seeing-as’ for addressing the plural realities of images. While putting into evidence the tensions that come into play when applying what was initially a (...) theory of the gaze to a theory of the image, the paper shall subsequently discuss three modes of iconic vision: the propositional seeing-as, the projective seeing-in and the medial seeing-with. (shrink)
This essay begins by providing a new account of wittgenstein's private language argument. Wittgenstein's rejection of a "cartesian" account of mind is examined, And it is argued that this rejection carries no commitment to behaviorism, Or to the view that sensation terms have public meanings and private references. Part ii of the essay attempts to forge a link between the two parts of the "philosophical investigations", By arguing that wittgenstein's discussion of "seeing-As" reinforces and illuminates his account of how (...) sensation language is mastered. (shrink)
Abstract This article examines the little-explored remarks on verification in Wittgenstein's notebooks during the period between 1930 and 1932. In these remarks, Wittgenstein connects a verificationist theory of meaning with the notion of logical multiplicity, understood as a space of possibilities: a proposition is verified by a fact if and only if the proposition and the fact have the same logical multiplicity. But while in his early philosophy logical multiplicities were analysed as an outcome of the formal properties of simple (...) objects and simple signs, Wittgenstein in the early 1930s connects the notion of logical multiplicity with the notion of ways of seeing. I will argue that the relevant ways of seeing are closely similar to seeing-as or aspect seeing. According to Wittgenstein's view in the early 1930s, logical multiplicities are part of our perceptual experience of propositions and facts. In this sense, the verification relation depends on how we experience propositions and facts as being surrounded by a logical space of possibilities. Strikingly, Wittgenstein's way of thinking about the verification relation offers solutions to a set of seemingly intractable problems connected with the versions of verificationism developed by members of the Vienna Circle. (shrink)
‘Seeing-as’, or aspect seeing, is generally recognized as having significance for religion, especially so since Wittgenstein. Two questions arise regarding religiously seeing the world as God's creation: have the religious seen the world aright, and does the world religiously require a community that uses religious concepts? I argue that a particular strain of religious tradition provides us with a way to understand the issue of discovery, and that a traditional understanding of the power of God requires that (...) a religious seeing of the world as God's creation, or a place of God's presence, can occur without there being a community that uses such religious concepts. (shrink)
Starting from the context in which Wittgenstein thinks of the concepts of “seeing-as” and “hearing-as”, the basic relation is clarified between the question of representation, musical understanding, and the theory of musical expressiveness. The points of views of Wollheim, Scruton, Levinson, and Ridley are discussed, in a re-consideration of the notions of hearing and understanding within Wittgenstein’s “last philosophy”.
It is not uncommon to hear parents say in discussions they have with their children 'Look at it this way'. And called upon for their advice, counsellors too say something to adults with the significance of 'Try to see it like this'. The change of someone's perspective in the context of child rearing is the focus of this paper. Our interest in this lies not so much in giving an answer to the practical problems that are at stake, but at (...) disentangling the issues on a conceptual level. Within the so-called second part of his Philosophical Investigations, Wittgenstein deals with shared practices and with concepts such as 'seeing' and 'seeing as'. What he says there is in terms of content linked with his earlier Tractatus position concerning ethics, a matter which will first be dealt with. After that, the relevant sections of his later work are discussed. Following Cavell, it is concluded that to try to get someone to see what one sees, necessarily presupposes giving it out of one's hands. The passivity this points at highlights what Erziehung in the end comes down to. (shrink)
In this paper, I want to argue for two main and related points. First, I want to defend Richard Wollheim’s well-known thesis that the twofold mental state of seeing-in is the distinctive pictorial experience that marks figurativity. Figurativity is what makes a representation pictorial, a depiction of its subject. Moreover, I want to show that insofar as it is a mark of figurativity, all seeing-in is inflected. That is to say, every mental state of seeing-in is such (...) that the characterisation of the properties by which a certain subject is seen in a given picture as having refers to the design properties of the picture’s vehicle, i.e., to the visible surface properties of that vehicle that are responsible for the fact that one such subject is seen in it, precisely taken in such a design role. Finally, I will try to show that seeing-in is qualified by inflection independently of whether it is conscious or unconscious (in the sense of subpersonal) seeing-in. (shrink)
Nicolas Malebranche Famously holds that we see all things in the physical world by means of ideas in God. This is the doctrine of Vision in God. In his initial formulation of the doctrine in the first edition of the Search After Truth (1674), Malebranche seems to posit ideas of particular physical objects in God, such as the idea of the sun or the idea of a tree. However, in Elucidations of the Search published four years later he insists that (...) there is only one idea of extension and it is general.1 Malebranche refers to this idea as "intelligible extension," in part because he thinks that we confuse it with its object, material extension, which he takes to be unintelligible in itself. By insisting upon a .. (shrink)
Suggests that genuine discovery in the context of qualitative research implies a distance between what is seen in the phenomenological sense and what has already been described. The ingenuity of William James's descriptions of hitherto undescribed aspects of everyday experience are rooted in an openness to seeing that characterizes his "radical empiricism." James was a pathfinder and explorer who did introspection and discovered the phenomena of transitive consciousness. The concepts of seeing as the mode of discovery, problematics of (...) the intentionality principle, James's radical empiricism, reflection and post-reflective seeing, objectless consciousness and insight, and transforming intentional consciousness are discussed. Buddhist meditative disciplines aimed at the development of insight, rather than altered states of consciousness, offer systematic methods for cultivating this openness and for the facilitation of genuine discovery. (shrink)
Davidson suggests that metaphor is a pragmatic (not a semantic) phenomenon; it prompts its audience to see one thing as another. Davidson rightly attacks speaker-intentionalism as the source of metaphorical meaning, but settles for an account that depends on audience intentions. A better approach would undermine intentionalism per se, replacing it with a social practice analysis based on patterns of extending the metaphor. This paper shows why Davidson’s perceptual model fails to stave off semantic analysis, and argues that the professed (...) virtues of Davidson's position are more readily found in an account that focuses on the nature of metaphorical interpretation. (shrink)
Standard models of visual perception hold that vision is an inferential or interpretative process. Such models are said to be superior to competing, non-inferential views in explanatory power. In particular, they are said to be capable of explaining a number of otherwise mysterious, visual phenomena such as multi-stable perception. Multi-stable perception paradigmatically occurs in the presence of ambiguous figures, single images that can give rise to two or more distinct percepts. Different interpretations are said to produce the different percepts. In (...) this paper, I argue that a non-inferential account of visual perception is just as capable of explaining multi-stable perception. I propose an embedded understanding of vision, and show how the embedded account can, after properly qualifying them, use the explanatory resources of the inferential view to explain just what such a view explains. (shrink)
Metaphor is a pervasive feature of language. We use metaphor to talk about the world in both familiar and innovative ways, and in contexts ranging from everyday conversation to literature and scientific theorizing. However, metaphor poses serious challenges for standard theories of meaning, because it seems to straddle so many important boundaries: between language and thought, between semantics and pragmatics, between rational communication and mere causal association.
The essays collected in this issue all stem from talks delivered at the International Conference, Aesthetic preferences, language games and forms of life: from Ludwig Wittgenstein, which was held on 23-25 January 2013 in the Aula Magna of the Faculty of Education at the University of Florence. Contributions are here published in the same order they were presented at the Conference. With fruitful variety of approach, the entire thematic spectrum of the relationship between Wittgenstein and aesthetics is covered: 1) the (...) question of the presence of specific aesthetic issues in Wittgenstein’s works: from aesthetic judgment to the concept of the beautiful (J.-P. Cometti, G. Tomasi, G. Matteucci); 2) the question of the aesthetic paradigm as the key to understanding Wittgenstein’s philosophical research as a whole as well as the philosopher’s unmistakable style (F. Desideri, S. Säätelä, S. Borutti, F. Valagussa); 3) the issue concerning the crucial difference between showing and saying and the thin boundaries between sense and nonsense (V. Sanfélix, L. Distaso, M. De Iaco); 4) the peculiar, but extremely relevant, question concerning the relationship between music and language (J. Schulte, A. Arbo); 5) the question of the expressive character of the work of art and of the linguistic nature of poetry, considered as a vantage point for the pursuit of the analysis of linguistic facts, as well as the issue of the literary form of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy, with its deeply romantic character (M.W. Rowe, G. Di Giacomo); 6) the controversial issue of "seeing-as" and of its role within theories of depiction and pictoriality (K. Stock, A. Voltolini, E. Caldarola, E. Terrone). (shrink)
Contemporary sociology conceptualizes religion along two dimensions: the institutional and the individual. Lost in this dichotomy is religion's noninstitutional, but collective and public, cultural dimension. As a result, theories of religious modernity, including both sides of the secularization debate, are unable to recognize or evaluate the social power of noninstitutionalized religious communication. This article offers a reconceptualization of religion that highlights its cultural, communicative dimension. Original research on religious talk provides an empirical ground for a theoretical discussion that highlights: (1) (...) the "invisible" nature of religion in modern societies, as theorized by Thomas Luckmann and (2) the social power attributed to communication by contemporary cultural sociologists and cultural theorists. I argue that conceptualizing religion as an evolving societal conversation about transcendent meaning broadens the empirical and theoretical grasp of the religion concept. (shrink)
William Alston’s Theory of Appearing has attracted considerable attention in recent years, both for its elegant interpretation of direct realism in light of the presentational character of perceptual experience and for its central role in his defense of the justificatory force of Christian mystical experiences. There are different ways to account for presentational character, however, and in this article we argue that a superior interpretation of direct realism can be given by a theory of perception as dynamic engagement. The conditions (...) for dynamic engagement are such that there can be no absolute discontinuity between individual perceptual experiences and more public forms of inquiry, and this requirement has radical consequences for the prima facie justificatory force of religious experience. (shrink)
Human beings may be the only organisms capable of thinking of self and other in equivalent ways – as selves and persons. Most organisms think about their own activities differently than they do the activities of others. A few large-brained organisms like chimps and dolphins sometimes think of the activities of self and other in the same way. But, only humans think quite generally in this manner. In this paper I give a description of our commonsense notions of self and (...) person, and a scientific framework in which it can be fit. I then provide a phylo- and onto-genetic account of these concepts. Finally, I argue that the theory of reciprocal altruism provides the best account of why the notions of self and person evolved to have the form and function they do with respect to human social life and moral capacities. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. (shrink)
: There has been a marked expansion in our human knowledge in recent decades, and much of this new information about ourselves and our world has yet to be integrated into our human self-image. I maintain that understanding how we fit within the spectrum of lifeforms as the primates that we are will enable us to take a more active role in choosing ecologically responsible behavior and will allow us to address more effectively our major problems of overpopulation, overconsumption, and (...) militarism. (shrink)
Given the privileged status claimed for active learning in a variety of domains (visuo-motor learning, causal induction, problem solving, education, skill learning), the present study examines whether action-based learning is a necessary, or a sufficient, means of acquiring the relevant skills needed to perform a task typically described as requiring active learning. To achieve this, the present study compared the effects of action-based and observation-based learning on controlling a complex dynamic task environment. Both action- and observationbased learners either learnt by (...) describing the changes in the environment in the form of a conditional statement, or not. The findings show that observational learners are sensitive to the instructional manipulations pursued during learning, in ways that are comparable to the active learning conditions. For both, advantages in performance, accuracy in knowledge of the task, and self-insight were found when learning was based on inducing rules from the task environment. (shrink)
Summary James Watt (1736?1819) is best known as an engineer who dramatically improved the efficiency of the steam engine. What we take to be his chemical interests are conventionally seen as peripheral to his main line of work. He is usually treated as a chemist in three main contexts: his ?practical? chemical work relating to chlorine bleaching, varnishes, pottery, and so on; his work with Thomas Beddoes on the medicinal uses of various ?airs?; his, much disputed, claim as a chemical (...) discoverer in the case of the composition of water. In this paper, I argue that Watt himself, and his contemporaries, saw the centrepiece of his steam engine work?the separate condenser?as a chemical invention. I also suggest more broadly that Watt understood the steam engine as a chemical device. For Watt and his Scottish friends, the study of steam and heat was a chemical enquiry. The subsequent changes in the place of heat in chemical enquiry in the early nineteenth century led to a reclassification of Watt's chemical investigations as ?physics?. This, in turn, produced the sharp separation of his chemical and engineering activities characteristic of modern historiography. Watt's steam engine, which is usually placed in the lineage of machines understood as heat engines, and explained by the laws of thermodynamics, is better seen in context as a chemical device. Watt's ?indicator diagram? is reassessed in the light of this. (shrink)
As philosophers we look-through a phenomenon and we see as it appears. The philosopher feels the sensation of dissatisfaction and lives in revolt against an instinctive dissatisfaction with the language. We see as the words are played, because they are source of confusion. He searches the liberating word, which liberates us from dissatisfaction or mental cramps: it subverts an idea, renews a thought, creates new knowledge and opens to the difference. The choice of words, based on the listening to the (...) words, is an aesthetic analyse, in the sense that it is a pursuit of pleasure and an avoidance of pain. (shrink)