Institut Jean Nicod

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Jeremy Dolan. "Apparent size and shape in visual experience"

November 30, 2012, 4pm. Institut Jean-Nicod, Salle de Réunion, rdc, Pavillon Jardin.

Jeremy Dolan. Jeremy is a fourth-year Ph.D.student in philosophy at New York University, being advised by Ned Block. He is visiting the Institut Jean Nicod this semester.

Title : "Apparent size and shape in visual experience"

Abstract : Does a distant tree look smaller than an equally-sized tree that is closer to you ? Does the shape of a table seem to change as you look at it from different points of view ? Many theories of perception accept the “appearance view,” according to which perceptual experience involves an awareness of “appearances.” On such a theory, we experience a tree’s apparent size changing as we move closer to it and a table’s apparent shape changing as we change vantage points. I will discuss two perceptual phenomena which motivate the appearance view, and I will offer a simpler explanation of them which doesn’t require that we posit “appearances.”
Drawing on lessons from perceptual constancies, visual illusions, multi-stable stimuli, and the reflections of artists, I will propose a theory of shape and size perception which retains the common sense view that when we see an object—unless things go awry—the only shape we perceive is the shape that the object actually has.