Some Remarks on Perceptual Constancies
Dr. Tyler Burge
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 01:00pm - 02:30pm
University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Philosophy
In this talk, I explore distinguishing perceptual constancies from other lower-level sensory invariances that conduce to tracking the physical environment. I believe that perceptual constancies mark a ragged, unsharp, but deep and momentous joint in nature. This joint constitutes the distinction between primitive mental sensory states and sensory states that are not, in any plausible or widely accepted sense, mental. It is the divide between perceiving and sensing, or perceptual. It also constitutes a divide between representation in a psychologically distinctive sense and representation in a sense that amounts to functional informational registration–a capacity shared by psychological beings with all animals and even plants. This divide is delineated in the actual practice of science. A different type of scientific explanation applies to the mental, perceptual, side of the divide than to the non-mental, mere sensory-registration, side.