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Abstract: The goal of this paper is to challenge the rather insouciant attitude that many investigators seem to adopt when they go about describing the items and events in their "visual fields". There are at least three distinct categories of interpretation of what these reports might mean, and only under one of those categories do those reports have anything resembling an observational character. The others demand substantive revisions in one's beliefs about what one sees. The ur-concept of a "visual field" is that of the "sum of things seen", but one can interpret the latter in very different ways. The first is the "field of view", or the sum of physical things seen. The second is an array of visual impressions, whose spatial relations are distinct from those of physical phenomena in front of the eyes. The third is an intentional object: the world as it is represented visually. These three categories are described, and various locutions of vision science--such as "optic array", "retinocentric space", "visual geometry", "virtual object" and others--are analyzed and variously located within them. Finally, a recent argument purporting to necessitate the existence of a version two visual field is examined and shown wanting
Abstract: Pictorial representation is one species of visual representation--but not the only one, I argue. There are three additional varieties or species of visual representation--namely 'structural', 'aspect' and 'integrative' representation--which together comprise a category of 'delineative' rather than depictive visual representation. I arrive at this result via consideration of previously neglected orientational factors that serve to distinguish the two categories. I conclude by arguing that pictures (unlike 'delineations') are not physical objects, and that their multiplicity and modal narrowness motivates a view of them as instead being (one kind of) 'delineatively' represented content or subject matter, as represented by those objects that are (commonly but wrongly, in my view) assumed to be pictures
Abstract: To experience is to undergo a process, to be in a state of receiving input which affords information about our environment. For highly developed beings like ourselves, the inputs determining states of conscious sensory perception are among the most important for our survival. At first glance, these states seem relational, each being a situation wherein a percipient X is passively conscious of something Y--its object, subject-matter, or content--without any apparent effort. Of course, the briefest reflection convinces us that despite a seemingly passive reception of data from without, a good deal of interpretation goes into the making of perceptual judgments, as evidenced by their wide variance in the face of like sensory stimulation. One person looking at the slope of a mountain notices a patch of whitish stones; another sees a flock of sheep grazing. They are distinguished by their different reactions to similar input, whether or not these are best construed as inferences, interpretations, or, simply, differing degrees of attentiveness
Abstract: The specialization of visual function within biological function is reason for introducing “homology thinking” into explanations of the visual system. It is argued that such specialization arises when organisms evolve by differentiation from their predecessors. Thus, it is essentially historical, and visual function should be regarded as a lineage property. The colour vision of birds and mammals do not function the same way as one another, on this account, because each is an adaptation to special needs of the visual functions of predecessors—very different kinds of predecessors in each case. Thus, history underlies function. We also see how homology thinking figures in the hierarchical classification of visual systems, and how it supports the explanation of visual function by functional role analysis
Abstract: Abstract The paper uses the tools of mereotopology (the theory of parts, wholes and boundaries) to work out the implications of certain analogies between the 'ecological psychology' of J. J Gibson and the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. It presents an ontological theory of spatial boundaries and of spatially extended entities. By reference to examples from the geographical sphere it is shown that both boundaries and extended entities fall into two broad categories: those which exist independently of our cognitive acts (for example, the planet Earth, its exterior surface); and those which exist only in virtue of such acts (for example: the equator, the North Sea). The visual field, too, can be conceived as an example of an extended entity that is dependent in the sense at issue. The paper suggests extending this analogy by postulating entities which would stand to true judgments as the visual field stands to acts of visual perception. The judgment field is defined more precisely as that complex extended entity which comprehends all entities which are relevant to the truth of a given (true) judgment. The work of cognitive linguists such as Talmy and Langacker, when properly interpreted, can be shown to yield a detailed account of the structures of the judgment fields corresponding to sentences of different sorts. A new sort of correspondence-theoretic definition of truth for sentences of natural language can then be formulated on this basis