In Mohan Matthen (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Perception. pp. 621-639 (2015)

Jonathan Cohen
University of California, San Diego
Students of perception have long known that perceptual constancy is an important aspect of our perceptual interaction with the world. Here is a simple example of the phenomenon concerning color perception: there is some ordinary sense in which an unpainted ceramic coffee cup made from a uniform material looks a uniform color when it is viewed under uneven illumination, even though the light reflected by the shaded regions to our eyes is quite different from the light reflected by the unshaded regions to our eyes (see figure 1). Or consider this example concerning size perception: there is some ordinary sense in which two telephone poles look the same size when the first is viewed from 100 meters and when the second is viewed from 1 meter, even though the visual angle subtended by the two poles on our retinae is very different (see figure 2). Or consider this example concerning shape perception: there is some ordinary sense in which a penny looks round both when viewed head on and when viewed from an acute angle, even though the area projected by the penny onto our retinae under these two conditions is very different (see figure 3). Or, finally, consider this example concerning auditory volume perception (which I cannot depict graphically): there is some ordinary sense in which a speaker’s voice sounds the same volume when heard from across the room and when heard from a distance of 1 meter, even though the energy striking our ears under these two conditions is very different
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References found in this work BETA

Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
The Problem of Perception.A. D. Smith - 2002 - Harvard University Press.
Consciousness, Color, and Content.Michael Tye - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 113 (3):233-235.

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Citations of this work BETA

On the Perception of Structure.E. J. Green - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):564-592.
The Nature of Perceptual Constancies.Peter Schulte - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):3-20.
Burge’s Defense of Perceptual Content.Todd Ganson, Ben Bronner & Alex Kerr - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):556-573.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

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