The inspectability of after-images has been denied. A typical claim is Ilham Dilman's: ‘I cannot say my apprehension of the after-image I see has changed but not the after-image itself’, for, he says, appearance and reality are one as regards the after-image. His reason is that this is a logical consequence of the fact that other people have no possible basis for correcting what I say about the after-image I see.
In view of the excellent arguments that have been put forth recently in favour of qualia, internal sensory presentations, it would strike an impartial observer - one could imagine a future historian of philosophy - as extremely odd why so many philosophers who are opposed to qualia, that is, sensory experiences internal to the brain, have largely ignored those arguments in their own. There has been a fashionable assumption that any theory of perception which espouses qualia has long since been (...) overcome by a number of 'formidable' objections, in particular, the Homunculus/Infinite Regress Objection, the Solipsism Objection, Austin's Illusion/Delusion Objection, the Ludicrousness-of-Colours-in-the-Brain Objection, the Indirect-Realist-has-to-assume-Direct-Realism Objection, the Impossibility-of-Comparing-Internal-with-External Objection, the Impossibility of Intrinsic Experience, and several more minor varieties of these. It is uncanny how they continue to be repeated, indeed, with a kind of automatism, evidenced by the fact that none of those who repeat them appear to have taken note of the answers to the objections. Indeed, they only appear to refer to those philosophers with whom they agree: it has long been insisted upon in the study of rhetoric that one of the weakest things to do in an argument is to ignore the main points made by one's opponent: [it is] the wisest plan _to state Objections in their full force_ ; at least, wherever there does exist a satisfactory answer to them; otherwise, those who hear them stated more strongly than by the uncandid advocate who had undertaken to repel them, will naturally enough conclude that they are unanswerable. It is but a momentary and ineffective triumph that can be obtained by man. (shrink)
This is a survey of the development of the philosophy of perception over the past twelve years. There are four sections. Part I deals largely with arguments for the propositionalizing of perception and for those types of externally founded realism that eschew inner representation. Part ii is devoted to three books that put the case for sense-Data (pennycuick, Jackson, Ginet) and some of the arguments against (pitcher). Part iii outlines james j gibson's psychological theory. Part iv takes up the arguments (...) for a theory of 'dual coding', Combining a non-Epistemic inner presentation as a first stage with epistemic selection as an independent module. The mental-Image argument (kosslyn, Pylyshyn) and wittgenstein's remarks on psychology, Recently published, Are brought in as relevant to this issue. (edited). (shrink)
It is the purpose of this article to explicate the logical implications of a television analogy for perception, first suggested by John R. Smythies (1956). It aims to show not only that one cannot escape the postulation of qualia that have an evolutionary purpose not accounted for within a strong functionalist theory, but also that it undermines other anti-representationalist arguments as well as some representationalist ones.
This discussion takes up an attack by Jerrold Aronson (seconded by Rom Harre) on the use made by Norwood R. Hanson of the Gestalt-Switch Analogy in the philosophy of science. Aronson's understanding of what is implied in a gestalt switch is shown to be flawed. In his endeavor to detach conceptual understanding from perceptual identification he cites several examples, without realizing the degree to which such gestalt switches can affect conceptualizing or how conceptualizing can affect gestalts. In particular, he has (...) not confronted the possibility of such gestalt selection being involved in the basic identification of what we term "entities". (shrink)
Mark Crooks's article correctly draws attention to the ambiguous use of the notion of 'illusion' by Daniel Dennett in its arguments against theories that postulate the existence of qualia. The present comment extends that criticism by showing how Dennett's strictures reveal a failure to perceive an illusion in Dennett's own arguments. First, the inadequacy of his dismissal of inner registration is shown to be based in a prejudicial interpretation of the case for qualia. Second, his resistance to the idea of (...) the non-epistemicity of the sensory fields shows him failing to acknowledge, not only the evolutionary advantage of such fields, but also that the flexibility and relativity of perception from person to person allows human communication to increase the rate of adaptive response across the species. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
A sensory receptor, in any organism anywhere, is sensitive through time to some distribution - energy, motion, molecular shape - indeed, anything that can produce an effect. The sensitivity is rarely direct: for example, it may track changes in relative variation rather than the absolute change of state (as when the skin responds to colder and hotter instead of to cold and hot as such); it may track differing variations under different conditions (the eyes' dark-adaptation; adaptation to sound frequencies can (...) lower the difference threshold; the kinesthetic sense will shut down if a limb is held in a stationary position too long - the limb 'going to sleep'); it may be subject to distortion of the input from overloading (dazzle producing strong-after-images); it may not be confined to one channel of sensitivity (the retina is sensitive to pressure; the hands can feel some strong sound-vibrations, the tympanum of the ear records touch). Strictly speaking there is no limit as to what intensities and what ranges receptors could be sensitive. Sharks are sensitive to electrostatic fields, homing pigeons to magnetic fields; snakes to infra-red rays; bacteria to acid concentrations; perhaps there has even been a mutant organism sensitive to the passage of cosmic rays, even though that would hardly have bestowed any conceivable survival value. What is irrefutable is that individual receptors differ markedly from organism to organism, between different members of the species (one dog being better at tracing smells than another; one person being able to sense light-waves of 375 nanometres, another not; children able to hear 20,000 Hz, older persons not), and between receptors of the same kind within one organism (one eye being sensitive to 765 nm and the other not; one ear deaf to 15,000 Hz and over, the other not). There are also just-noticeable-differences (JND's), in that one person can see two shades of a colour where another sees only one; similarly with sounds. (shrink)
In order to entertain the argument to be presented here, you have to begin by casting away a presupposition. The ultimate aim will be to restore it again as a presupposition, but the immediate aim will be to test for and make clear its undoubted worth and usefulness by imagining what happens to our knowledge-system when we remove it.
If a sensory field exists as a pure natural sign open to all kinds of interpretation as evidence (see 'Sensing as non-epistemic'), what is it that does the interpreting? Borrowing from the old Gestalt psychologists, I have proposed a gestalt module that picks out wholes from the turmoil, it being the process of noticing or attending to , but the important difference from Koffka and Köhler (Koffka, 1935; Köhler, 1940), the originators of the term 'gestalt' in the psychology of perception (...) ( is that the emphasis is upon the gestalt projection as motivated . Gestalt-attention of this kind is usually enforced in the first instance by pain or pleasure, and the resulting projections are placed in memory tabbed with fear or desire, such that if such a pattern recurs in the sensory field, fear or desire are triggered. In advanced animals the ability to play with the gestalt module has been evolved, because experimenting in curiosity has proved adaptive, as the exploratory behaviour in the Rat, the Raven, the Apes and Homo sapiens bears out. (shrink)
From an Indirect Realist point of view, the Knowledge Argument in the philosophy of perception has been misdirected by its very title. If it can be argued that sense-fields are at their basis no more than evidence, indeed, a part of existence as brute as what is usually termed the 'external', then, if 'knowing' is not essential to sensing, that argument has to be radically reconstructed. Resistance to there being an non-epistemic or 'raw feel' basis for sensing is very fashionable (...) at the moment (e.g. in Davidson, McDowell, Harman), but the present article aims at breaking through it. Scientific facts are adduced to show that sensing can exist without perceiving. It is argued that the part played by motivation in the gathering of knowledge in a feedback system, enhanced by intersubjective linguistic correction in the human case, allows for a ready evolutionary adaptation. One can advance from this to a fresh view of knowledge and rationality which see them at base as part of a folk-psychological method of allowing for continuing disambiguation of what are identified within that method as 'entities' and 'properties'. (shrink)
The title of this paper is 'The Story of the Story'. If its argument is valid, I cannot be speaking to you now, trying to change your view of something without telling a story myself, even about the Story. Over the last two decades there has been an increasing number of people in a variety of disciplines telling us that the story, narrative, is an inescapable feature of human communication. Listen to a few representative voices. from psychology - Theodore Sarbin: (...) 'Human beings think, perceive, imagine, and make moral choices according to narrative structures' (Sarbin, 1986,8); from philosophy' - Alasdair MacIntyre: 'In what does the unity of a human life consist? The answer is that its unity is the unity of a.. (shrink)
The originator of the notion of structural isomorphism was the philosopher Roy Wood Sellars. Many modern philosophers are unaware how this notion vitiates their attacks on the concept of an internal sensory presentation. His view that this allowed for corrective feedback undercuts Palmer's belief that there is a mapping of objects. The privacy of subjective experience is also shown not to be inviolable.
One evolutionary advantage is that, because of sensory and perceptual relativity (acknowledged as an empirical fact), the tracking of portions of the real relevant to the living creature can be enhanced if updating from species-member to species-member can take place. In human perception, the structure is therefore in the form of a triangulation (Davidson's metaphor) in which continual mutual correction can be performed. Language, that which distinguishes human beings from other animals, capitalizes on that structure. The means by which updating (...) of adaptiveness takes place in the human species is shown to involve a covert hypothesis of singularity in co-reference, a structure that brings the idea of mutual faith and its character to the fore. (shrink)
The relationship of word-meaning to speaker's-meaning has not been examined thoroughly enough. Some philosophical problems are solved and others made plainer if the full consequences of a proper relationship between these two is worked out.
Steven Lehar allows too much to his direct realist opponent in using the word “subjective” of the sensory field per se. The latter retains its nonconceptual, nonmental nature even when explored by perceptual judgement. He also needs to stress the evolutionary value of perceptual differences between person and person, a move that enables one to undermine the direct realist's superstitious certainty about the singular object.
The authors are working with a limited notion of religion. They have confined themselves to a view of it as superstition, “counterintuitive,” as they put it. What they have not seen is that faith does in a real sense involve a paradox in that it projects an impossibility as a methodological device, a fictive ploy, which in the best interpretation necessarily involves a commitment to the likelihood of self-sacrifice.
The authors O'Regan & Noë (O&N) have ignored the case for the visual field as being non-epistemic evidence internal to the brain, having no pictorial similarity to the external input, and being material in ontological status. They are also not aware of the case for the evolutionary advantage of learning as the perceptual refashioning of such non-epistemic sensory evidence via motivated feedback in sensorimotor activity.
Interesting as the experiments are, their relevance to the real-life situation is rendered questionable by the unthinking use of given singularities as target objects. The evolutionary process does not respect what one agent takes to be a singular referent. A “singling” from the continuum is rather a varying feature of the necessity to track what is rewarding in it.
If a sensory field exists as a pure natural sign open to all kinds of interpretation as _evidence_ (see 'Sensing as non-epistemic'), what is it that does the interpreting? Borrowing from the old Gestalt psychologists, I have proposed a gestalt module that picks out wholes from the turmoil, it being the process of _noticing_ or _attending to_ , but the important difference from Koffka and Khler (Koffka, 1935; Khler, 1940), the originators of the term 'gestalt' in the psychology of perception (...) ( is that the emphasis is upon the gestalt projection as motivated . Gestalt-attention of this kind is usually enforced in the first instance by pain or pleasure, and the resulting projections are placed in memory tabbed with fear or desire, such that if such a pattern recurs in the sensory field, fear or desire are triggered. In advanced animals the ability to play with the gestalt module has been evolved, because experimenting in curiosity has proved adaptive, as the exploratory behaviour in the Rat, the Raven, the Apes and _Homo sapiens_ bears out. (shrink)
Zenon Pylyshyn here repeats the same error as in his original article (1973) in starting with the premiss that all cognition is a matter of perceiving entities already given in their singularity. He therefore fails to acknowledge the force of the evolutionary argument that perceiving is a motivated process working upon a non-epistemic sensory registration internal to the brain.
Arthur M. Glenberg omits discussion of motivation and this leads him to an underestimation of the part played by pleasure and pain and desire and fear in both the clamping and the updating of percepts. This commentary aims at rectifying this omission, showing that mutual correction plays an important role.
Are you prepared, either as an atheist or a religious believer, to have your ideas of God, the self, other people, the body, the soul, spirituality, and faith challenged in an unexpected and original way? Here is a book that moves out from under and away from the received notions of those ponderous topics, whether or not you believe in the divine. The author is a confessed atheist but one who rejects the approach of Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Michel Onfray (...) and the rest when they depart from their justifiable criticisms of the historical record of the established creeds and endeavour to rubbish what faith could actually be. The book takes its origin from an exploration of the idea of an avatar; the writing of it was stimulated by seeing the Cameron film, though it subjects that film itself to an assessment of its hidden assumptions. The book finally arrives at specific recommendations for our time, ones to which the argument of the book has been directed throughout. (shrink)