Spatial perception: The perspectival aspect of perception

Philosophy Compass 13 (2):e12472 (2018)
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Abstract

When we perceive an object, we perceive the object from a perspective. As a consequence of the perspectival nature of perception, when we perceive, say, a circular coin from different angles, there is a respect in which the coin looks circular throughout, but also a respect in which the coin's appearance changes. More generally, perception of shape and size properties has both a constant aspect—an aspect that remains stable across changes in perspective—and a perspectival aspect—an aspect that changes depending on one's perspective on the object. How should we account for the perspectival aspect of spatial perception? We present a framework within which to discuss the perspectival aspect of perception and put forward three desiderata that any account of the perspectival aspect of perception should satisfy. We discuss views on which the perspectival aspect of perception is analyzed in terms of constitutively mind-dependent appearance properties as well as views on which the perspectival aspect of perception is analyzed in terms of representations of mind-independent perspectival properties.

Author Profiles

Susanna Schellenberg
Rutgers - New Brunswick
E. J. Green
Johns Hopkins University

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