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3.10a. The Causal Theory of Perception (The Causal Theory of Perception on PhilPapers)

See also:
Aldrich, Virgil C. (1932). Taking the causal theory of perception seriously. Journal of Philosophy 29 (3):69-78.   (Google | More links)
Aranyosi, Istv (2008). Review of Roy Sorensen's Seeing Dark Things. The Philosophy of Shadows. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (3):513-515.   (Google)
Aranyosi, István, The reappearing act.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In a recent article, Roy Sorensen proposed a very interesting puzzle involving shadows – The Disappearing Act puzzle (2006). It was left unsolved there. Nevertheless, in his latest book he has added a new thought in guise of a solution to it (2008: 73-75). In what follows I will argue that Sorensen’s solution has some shortcomings, and will offer an alternative to it
Bradie, Michael P. (1976). The causal theory of perception. Synthese 33 (2-4).   (Google)
Byrne, Alex & Hilbert, David R. (1995). Perception and causation. Journal of Philosophy 92 (6):323-329.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Campbell, Scott (2002). Causal analyses of seeing. Erkenntnis 56 (2):169-180.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Child, William (1994). Causality, Interpretation, and the Mind. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Philosophers of mind have long been interested in the relation between two ideas: that causality plays an essential role in our understanding of the mental; and that we can gain an understanding of belief and desire by considering the ascription of attitudes to people on the basis of what they say and do. Many have thought that those ideas are incompatible. William Child argues that there is in fact no tension between them, and that we should accept both. He shows how we can have a causal understanding of the mental without having to see attitudes and experiences as internal, causally interacting entities and he defends this view against influential objections. The book offers detailed discussions of many of Donald Davidson's contributions to the philosophy of mind, and also considers the work of Dennett, Anscombe, McDowell, and Rorty, among others. Issues discussed include: the nature of intentional phenomena; causal explanation; the character of visual experience; psychological explanation; and the causal relevance of mental properties
Child, William (1994). Vision and causation: Reply to Hyman. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (176):361-369.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Child, William (1992). Vision and experience: The causal theory and the disjunctive conception. Philosophical Quarterly 42 (168):297-316.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Coates, Paul (2000). Deviant causal chains and hallucinations: A problem for the anti-causalist. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (200):320-331.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The subjective character of a given experience leaves open the question of its precise status. If it looks to a subject K as if there is an object of a kind F in front of him, the experience he is having could be veridical, or hallucinatory. Advocates of the Causal Theory of perception (whom I shall call
Coates, Paul (1998). Perception and metaphysical skepticism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 72 (72):1-28.   (Google)
Abstract: Much recent discussion about the nature of perception has focused on the dispute between the Causal Theory of Perception and the rival Disjunctive View. There are different versions of the Causal Theory (the abbreviation I shall use), but the point upon which they agree is that perception involves a conscious experience which is logically distinct from the particular physical object perceived. 1 On the opposed Disjunctive View, the perceptual experience is held to be inseparable from the object perceived; what is directly present to conscious experience is, literally, part of the physical environment. 2 One prima facie difficulty the Causal Theory appears to face is the problem of deviant causal chains, of providing sufficient conditions for perception; I shall not address this difficulty directly, though some of my concluding remarks will bear on it. My main aim in this paper is to show that, despite the deviant causal chains problem, the Causal Theory is to be preferred to the rival Disjunctive View
Cohen, L. Jonathan (1977). The causal theory of perception. Aristotelian Society 127:127-141.   (Google)
Davis, Steven (ed.) (1983). Causal Theories Of Mind: Action, Knowledge, Memory, Perception, And Reference. Ny: De Gruyter.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Davies, Martin (1983). Function in perception. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (December):409-426.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Dilworth, John B. (2005). A reflexive, dispositional approach to perception. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):583-601.   (Google)
Abstract: This paper will investigate the basic question of the nature of perception, as theoretically approached from a purely naturalistic standpoint. An adequate theory must not only have clear application to a world full of pre-existing biological examples of perception of all kinds, from unicellular perception to conscious human perception, but it must also satisfy a series of theoretical or philosophical constraints, as enumerated and discussed in Section 1 below. A perceptual theory invoking _reflexive dispositions_--that is, dispositions directed toward the very same worldly perceived objects or properties that caused them--will be defended as one legitimate such naturalistic theory
Dilworth, John B. (2004). Naturalized perception without information. Journal Of Mind And Behavior 25 (4):349-368.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Abstract: The outlines of a novel, fully naturalistic theory of perception are provided, that can explain perception of an object X by organism Z in terms of reflexive causality. On the reflexive view proposed, organism Z perceives object or property X just in case X causes Z to acquire causal dispositions reflexively directed back upon X itself. This broadly functionalist theory is potentially capable of explaining both perceptual representation and perceptual content in purely causal terms, making no use of informational concepts. However, such a reflexive, naturalistic causal theory must compete with well entrenched, supposedly equally naturalistic theories of perception that are based on some concept of information, so the paper also includes some basic logical, naturalistic and explanatory criticisms of such informational views
Dilworth, John B. (2005). Perceptual causality problems reflexively resolved. Acta Analytica 20 (3):11-31.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
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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Dore, Clement (1964). Ayer on the causal theory of perception. Mind 73 (290):287-290.   (Google | More links)
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Hyman, John (1992). The causal theory of perception. Philosophical Quarterly 42 (168):277-296.   (Cited by 13 | Google | More links)
Hyman, John (1993). Vision, causation and occlusion. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (171):210-214.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (1977). Perception and reference without causality. Journal of Philosophy 74 (October):606-620.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
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Lewis, David (1980). Veridical hallucination and prosthetic vision. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 58 (September):239-249.   (Cited by 38 | Google | More links)
Lowe, E. J. (1992). Experience and its objects. In Tim Crane (ed.), The Contents of Experience. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
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Vision, Gerald (1997). Problems of Vision: Rethinking the Causal Theory of Perception. New York: Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In this book Gerald Vision argues for a new causal theory, one that engages provocatively with direct realism and makes no use of a now discredited subjectivism
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