Relative to other so-called ‘minor
entities’, in particular shadows, and to an extent holes, reflections remain
strikingly under-theorised. This sub-section contains an assortment of works
that explore the nature and/or harness the concept of reflection, most notably
in the philosophy of perception. Here a number of issues of theoretical
significance crop up: Is perception with
a mirror illusory? When one perceives a reflection, what is one perceiving – light, a reflecting surface, a reflection
or an image of some sort? The nature of reflections: are they akin to echoes?
More generally reflections might be treated as a diagnostic for sorting among
distinct philosophical theories of perception and their relative merits. A
further, but related area of concern is the connection between specular and
The concept of reflection is widely
exploited in logic (reversal), philosophy of mind (simulation theories) and
phenomenology (introspection). Famously, Richard Rorty’s meta-theoretical criticism of
a certain species of analytic philosophy reports an over-reliance on the
assumption of experience and language ‘mirroring nature'.