The Innocent Eye : Why Vision Is Not a Cognitive Process
tradition, but that also respects some of the insights of constructivism. Orlandi develops an embedded understanding of visual processing according to which, while visual percepts are representational states, the states and structures that precede the production of percepts are not representations.
If we study the environmental contingencies in which vision occurs, and we properly distinguish functional states and features of the visual apparatus from representational states and features, we obtain an empirically more plausible, world-centered account. Orlandi shows that this account accords well with models of vision in perceptual psychology - such as Natural Scene Statistics and Bayesian approaches to perception - and outlines some of the ways in which it differs from recent
'enactive' approaches to vision. The main difference is that, although the embedded account recognizes the importance of movement for perception, it does not appeal to action to uncover the richness of visual stimulation.
The upshot is that constructive models of vision ascribe mental representations too liberally, ultimately misunderstanding the notion. Orlandi offers a proposal for what mental representations are that, following insights from Brentano, James and a number of contemporary cognitive scientists, appeals to the notions of de-coupleability and absence to distinguish representations from mere tracking states.
- Hardback | 272 pages
- 162 x 239 x 25mm | 490g
- 21 Aug 2014
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
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Table of contents
contested areas in current philosophy of cognitive science. * Johnny Lee, Philosophical Psychology * I am sympathetic to Orlandi's viewpoint. The Innocent Eye draws the attention of philosophers to research that they have mainly neglected, and challenges the computationalist consensus that has been mainly taken for granted since philosophers learned about Chomsky, Pylyshyn, and Marr. * Analysis * In The Innocent Eye: Why vision is not a cognitive process, Nico Orlandi considers visual perception at a more basic level ... According to Orlandi, we should take seriously an 'embedded' view of vision. According to this view, the operations of the visual system do not consist in the following of rules, inferential transitions, or symbol manipulations. Rather, they reflect how, by being embedded in an environment, visual processes are hard-wired, naturally
biased or constrained to deliver certain outputs in certain conditions. Nico Orlandi's book is an original, detailed, and robustly argued defence of these claims. * Craig French, The Times Literary Supplement * Orlandi argues convincingly that philosophical theorizing about vision should highlight how the external environment molds visual activity. I think she would have done better to showcase the embedding environment in conjunction with the constructivist paradigm, not as the basis for a rival paradigm. Nevertheless, I found her discussion enjoyable and thought-provoking at every turn. All philosophers interested in perception should read this book * Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
About Nico Orlandi