Transitivity of visual sameness

Synthese (forthcoming)
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The way in which vision represents objects as being the same despite movement and qualitative changes has been extensively investigated in contemporary psychology. However, the formal properties of the visual sameness relation are still unclear, for example, whether it is an identity-like, equivalence relation. The paper concerns one aspect of this problem: the transitivity of visual sameness. Results obtained by using different experimental paradigms are analysed, in particular studies using streaming/bouncing stimuli, multiple object tracking experiments and investigations concerning object-specific preview benefit, and it is argued that the transitive interpretation of visual sameness is the most plausible given the current stage of knowledge. What is more, it is claimed that the way in which visual sameness is represented suggests that in some cases it should be characterized as a “primitive sameness”, similarly as in philosophical theories postulating “thisness”.
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Archival date: 2019-04-08
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