Philosophical Topics

Volume 44, Issue 2, Fall 2016

New Directions in the Philosophy of Perception

David J. Bennett
Pages 1-41

The Role of Spatial Appearances in Achieving Spatial-Geometric Perceptual Constancy

Long tradition in philosophy and in empirical psychology has it that the perceptual recovery of enduring objective size and shape proceeds through initial spatial appearance experiences—like the sensed changing visual field size of a receding car, or the shifting shape appearance of a coin as it rotates in depth. The present paper carefully frames and then critically examines such proposals. It turns out that these are contingent, empirical matters, requiring close examination of relevant research in perception science in order to decide. The paper concludes with extended discussions of the empirical study of the perception of slant, size, and shape.