Silhouettes: A Reply from the Dark Side [Book Review]

Acta Analytica 26 (2):199-211 (2011)
This is a reply to Casey O'Callaghan and Jonathan Westphal’s comments on Seeing Dark Things: The Philosophy of Shadows. Both attempt to soften the blow to intuition that comes from the most controversial thesis of the book: we see the backs of back-lit objects. Each characterizes the viewing of silhouettes as a kind of marginal seeing that only discloses shapes, sizes and location. In response, photographs are presented to show that silhouettes are typically three-dimensional and they often have internal structure. Consider the silhouette of a bird fluttering inside a cage; we see more than the outline of the cage. Orbiting this main point are subsidiary points about the distinction between shade and shadows, the nature of occlusion, the color black, and peculiarities of absent absences.
Keywords Silhouette  Shadow  Shade  Occlusion  Euclid  Absence  Black  Causal theory of perception
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-010-0103-z
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William E. S. Mcneill (2015). The Visual Role of Objects' Facing Surfaces. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (1):411-431.
Briggs Wright (2012). Darkness Visible? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):39 - 55.
Roy Sorensen (2011). Two Fields of Vision. Philosophical Issues 21 (1):456-473.

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