Title

An Alternative to the Causal Theory of Perception

Abstract

Proponents of the causal theory of perception have applied the theory to questions about which particular objects or events are perceived, which parts are perceived, and which properties are perceived. In each case, they insist that successful perception is causally dependent on what is perceived. The causal theory rests on an important insight regarding the information-carrying role of perception. In order to succeed in this role, perception cannot be grounded in spurious correlations. But we can respect this insight without embracing the idea that a successful percept must be causally dependent on what is perceived. A correlation in nature can also be genuine or lawful when it arises from a common cause. I show how successful perception is frequently achieved through correlation via a common cause.

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Publication Date

10-26-2020

Publication Title

Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Department

Philosophy

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048402.2020.1836008

Keywords

Causal theory of perception, Correlational information, Reichenbach's Common cause principle, Inverse projection problem, Shadows, Occlusion illusion

Language

English

Format

text

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