False reflections

Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1227-1242 (2017)
Maarten Steenhagen
Cambridge University
Philosophers and psychologists often assume that mirror reflections are optical illusions. According to many authors, what we see in a mirror appears to be behind it. I discuss two strategies to resist this piece of dogma. As I will show, the conviction that mirror reflections are illusions is rooted in a confused conception of the relations between location, direction, and visibility. This conception is unacceptable to those who take seriously the way in which mirrors contribute to our experience of the world. My argument may be read as an advertisement of the neglected field of philosophical catoptrics, the philosophical study of the optical properties of mirrors. It enables us to recast familiar issues in the philosophy of perception.
Keywords mirrors  appearances  illusion  perception of space  catoptrics  perception
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-016-0752-x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Mirrors and Misleading Appearances.Vivian Mizrahi - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reflections in a Mirror.Damian Cox - 2014 - Diametros 41:1-12.
Appearance and Illusion.James Genone - 2014 - Mind 123 (490):339-376.
Veridical Hallucination.Tzu-Ying Lu - 2002 - Philosophy and Culture 29 (11):1040-1050.
Perception and Illusion.Madhucchanda Sen - 1992 - Indian Philosophical Quarterly 19 (October):1-16.
The Spatial Content of Experience.Brad J. Thompson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):146-184.
Thomas Reid on Acquired Perception.Rebecca Copenhaver - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):285-312.
Specular Space.Clare Mac Cumhaill - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (3pt3):487-495.


Added to PP index

Total downloads
572 ( #3,853 of 2,242,833 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
140 ( #1,861 of 2,242,833 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature