In Clare Mac Cumhaill & Thomas Crowther (eds.), Perceptual Ephemera. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 194-218 (2018)

Thomas Raleigh
United Arab Emirates University
In his book “Seeing Dark Things” (2008), Roy Sorensen provides many wonderfully ingenious arguments for many surprising, counter-intuitive claims. One such claim in particular is that when we a silhouetted object – i.e. an opaque object lit entirely from behind – we literally see its back-side – i.e. we see the full expanse of the surface facing away from us that is blocking the incoming light. Sorensen himself admits that this seems a tough pill to swallow, later characterising it as “the most controversial thesis of the book” (2011, p199). I will argue against Sorensen’s controversial thesis and in favour of what seems to me to be a much more natural and commonsensical alternative: when we see a silhouetted object, what we see is its edge and only its edge – so we do not see its entire back-side.
Keywords Perception  Causal Theory of Perception  Surfaces  Silhouette  Visual Experience  Camouflage  Sorensen  Seeing  Shadows
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References found in this work BETA

Perceiving: A Philosophical Study.R. J. Hirst - 1959 - Philosophical Quarterly 9 (37):366-373.
The Causal Theory of Perception.H. P. Grice - 1961 - In Jonathan Dancy (ed.), Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume. Oxford University Press. pp. 121-168.
The Causal Theory of Perception.H. P. Grice & Alan R. White - 1961 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 35 (1):121-168.

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Can We Hear Silence?Daniela Šterbáková - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):33-53.

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