Perceptual causality problems reflexively resolved

Acta Analytica 20 (3):11-31 (2005)
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Abstract

Causal theories of perception typically have problems in explaining deviant causal chains. They also have difficulty with other unusual putative cases of perception involving prosthetic aids, defective perception, scientifically extended cases of perception, and so on. But I show how a more adequate reflexive causal theory, in which objects or properties X cause a perceiver to acquire X-related dispositions toward that very same item X, can provide a plausible and principled perceptual explanation of all of these kinds of cases. A critical discussion of David Lewis's perceptual descriptivist views is also provided, including a defense of the logical possibility of systematic misperception or perceptual error for a perceiver, in spite of its empirical improbability.

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John Dilworth
Western Michigan University

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