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Vision, Knowledge, and the Mystery Link

Dr. John Pollock

Tuesday, March 23, 2004, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Regent's Professor of Philosophy, Research Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Arizona

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Vision, Knowledge, and the Mystery Link  (joint work with Iris Oved)

Vision scientists formulate theories of visual processing aimed
at describing the construction of the visual image on the basis of retinal
stimulation. Philosophers construct theories of reasoning from perceptual
input, but their theories begin with perceptual information encoded in the
form of beliefs. The first beliefs formed on the basis of perception are
"perceptual beliefs". A gap remains.  How are the perceptual beliefs
constructed on the basis of the visual image? That is the "mystery link".
Philosophers typically wave their hands and pronounce merely that it is
"causal", but that is little more than an acknowledgement that they have no
idea how it works.  This paper proposes that there is much more to be said
about the mystery link, and a correct theory of the mystery link constrains
psychological theories of visual processing and philosophical theories of
reasoning, because both must fit together with an account of the mystery
link.

Dr. John Pollock