Issue 47, March 2014
Perceptual Anti-Individualism and Vision Science
I discuss the nature of visual perception from an interdisciplinary perspective. The target of investigation is Tyler Burge’s theory of perceptual anti-individualism, according to which perceptual states constitutively depend on relations between perceivers and the external world. Burge argues that this theory is presupposed by vision science. My goal is to argue that perceptual anti-individualism is not the only theoretical choice. First, I consider the notion of homeostasis and suggest how it may cast doubt on the perceptual norms in Burge’s theory. Second, I argue that many phenomena studied by vision science can be explained without positing Burge’s notions of veridicality and singular representation. Third, I consider some empirical theories and argue that vision science does not uniquely favor Burge’s theory. I conclude that perceptual anti-individualism is not the only framework for understanding visual perception.