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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
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
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
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