Seeing absence Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Farennikova, Anna
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
  • Intuitively, we often see absences. For example, if someone steals your computer from a café, you may see its absence from your table. But absence perception presents a paradox. On prevailing models of perception, we see only present objects and scenes. So, we cannot literally see an object that is not present. This suggests that we never literally perceive absences, but merely infer that something is absent cognitively on the basis of what we do perceive. But this cognitive explanation does not do justice to the phenomenology. In this paper, I argue that we can literally see absences. I present a model of absence perception based on visual expectations and a matching process. I then reply to two pressing objections.
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  • In Copyright
  • Neta, Ram
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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