Bayesian Perception Is Ecological Perception

Nico Orlandi, University of California, Santa Cruz

[PDF of Nico Orlandi’s paper]

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There is a certain excitement in vision science concerning the idea of applying the tools of Bayesian decision theory to explain our perceptual capacities. Bayesian models – or ‘predictive coding models’ – are thought to be needed to explain how the inverse problem of perception is solved, and to rescue a certain constructivist and Kantian way of understanding the perceptual process (Clark 2012, Gladzeijewski 2015, Hohwy 2013, Rescorla 2013, Rescorla forthcoming.)

Anticlimactically, I argue both that Bayesian outlooks do not constitute good solutions to the inverse problem, and that they are not constructivist in nature. Continue reading Bayesian Perception Is Ecological Perception

Colour layering and colour relationalism

Derek Brown, Brandon University

[PDF of Derek Brown’s Paper]

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Colour Relationalism asserts that colours are non-intrinsic or inherently relational properties of objects, properties that depend not only on a target object but in addition on some relation(s) that object bears to other objects. The most powerful argument for Relationalism (Cohen 2009) infers the inherently relational character of colour from cases in which one’s experience of a colour contextually depends on one’s experience of other colours. Experienced colour layering – say looking at grass through a tinted window and experiencing opaque green through transparent grey – demands a contextual interdependency of one’s experience of one of these colours on one’s experience of the other. However, most if not all colour ontologies, and core perceptual experiential mechanisms like acquaintance and representation, can accommodate colour layering. It follows that Continue reading Colour layering and colour relationalism

‘What it is like’ talk is not technical talk

Jonathan Farrell, University of Manchester

[PDF of Jonathan Farrell’s paper]

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1. Introduction

Philosophers commonly talk about phenomenal consciousness by engaging in ‘what it is like’ talk (‘WIL-talk’ for short): they use sentences (‘WIL-sentences’) involving phrases such as ‘what is it like’ and ‘something it is like’. But it is not obvious what we mean when we engage in WIL-talk, or how we mean whatever it is we mean: how, by putting these words in this order do we come to talk about consciousness?[1] Indeed some have argued that when philosophers engage in WIL-talk they are talking nonsense (Hacker 2002), or saying something false or trivial (Snowdon 2010). One popular account of WIL-talk is that it involves technical terms—special terms which, although they look and sound like Continue reading ‘What it is like’ talk is not technical talk

Structure Constancy

E.J. Green, Rutgers University

[PDF of E.J. Green’s paper]

[Jump to John Hummel’s commentary]
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1. Introduction

Imagine that you are meeting a friend for coffee, and you see her walking toward your table. As she walks, her arms and legs turn about their joints. Moreover, her forearms turn slightly about her elbows, and her tibias move about her knees. I suggest that, despite these changes, her overall structure seems to Continue reading Structure Constancy

Retinal images and object files: towards empirically evaluating philosophical accounts of visual perspective

Assaf Weksler, Open University of Israel and Ben Gurion University

[PDF of Assaf Weksler’s paper]

[Jump to René Jagnow’s commentary]
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According to an influential philosophical view I call “the relational properties view” (RPV), “perspectival” properties, such as the elliptical appearance of a tilted coin, are relational properties of external objects. Philosophers have assessed this view on the basis of phenomenological, epistemological or other purely philosophical considerations. My aim in this paper is Continue reading Retinal images and object files: towards empirically evaluating philosophical accounts of visual perspective