Prolegomena 16 (1):55-72 (2017)

Authors
Alessio Gava
Universidade Estadual Do Paraná
Abstract
According to Roy Sorensen, when one looks at the Moon, during a solar eclipse, what she sees is its inner part of the farther, reflective one, and not the always-facing-Earth side of our natural satellite. To make his point clearer, he put forward the famous example of a double eclipse involving the fictional planets Far and Near. From the observer’s vantage point, the two planets have the same apparent diameter and overlap. What the agent sees is a dark disk, but believes that what she is seeing is Near, because Far is behind it. Sorensen claims that what she actually sees is planet Far and that the causal theory of perception explains why this is the case. Of course, this position stands against common sense. Sorensen shows that it counters Alvin Goldman’s renowned observation criteria too. Nonetheless, he maintains, since Near is causally idle and the agent does see something, the only possible conclusion is that she sees Far, pace Goldman – and common sense. In this paper, I try to demonstrate that Sorensen is wrong and that the correct solution to the eclipse riddle is that the observer sees Near. As a matter of fact, besides meeting common sense and Goldman’s observability criteria, Near can be legitimately be considered the object of a successful perceptual discrimination even in the light of the causal theory of perception.
Keywords Causal theory of perception  eclipse  observation  Goldman  Seeing Dark Things  Sorensen  silhouettes  Eclipse Riddle
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X—The Validity of Transcendental Arguments.Charles Taylor - 1979 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 79 (1):151-166.

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