It is a scientific commonplace that solid objects are not really solid, but consist mainly of empty space. That is to say, the volume of matter (or vibrating loops of energy, depending upon which theory you prefer) in any given object is vastly exceeded by the amount of space between each particle at a subatomic level. This is certainly a surprising scientific discovery, but does it mean, as some scientists suggest, that solidity is an illusion? Well, if by you mean densely packed without any intervening spaces or gaps, then yes it is. But whilst this meaning of is perfectly acceptable when it comes to what the philosopher J. L. Austin called “familiar medium- sized dry goods”, science tells us that most objects are not like this at the atomic scale. Consequently, when we talk about the solidity of familiar objects, such as a piece of wood, we must mean something quite different. In this context, picks out the property of being resistant to the touch, relatively stable, impermeable, and so on. The surprising scientific discovery, then, is not that no objects are solid, but that solidity at the macroscopic scale (i.e. ordinary solidity) does not coincide with the property of being densely packed at subatomic scales. Instead, macroscopic solidity is the result of electromagnetic forces acting between particles at the surfaces of objects, including our bodies, to repel one another. Indeed, without the existence of such forces, most physical objects would simply pass through one another.
These ideas certainly seem reasonable; but they are nonetheless rooted in a problematic conception of vision and perception. We foreshadow some central problems here, problems that we will more carefully address later in the paper when we discuss Kahneman’s (,) work and carefully revisit some of the common visual tasks and perceptual examples of bounded rationality and bias.
In all, although we can measure (and thus “objectively” show the existence of) a large range of possible frequencies across the electromagnetic spectrum, with various instruments, nonetheless the human visual system allows only certain types of input. This is true not only for luminance, but also for many other visual and perceptual factors. This very argument casts doubt on any one way of measuring perception and reality in the first place—an argument we will turn to next.
Note also that the way that any particular, seemingly objective color is represented or subjectively sensed varies across species. A bat sees the world very differently than humans do (cf. Nagel, ). Luminance or color has no “true” or objective nature (Koenderink, ). It is mental paint. Different species not only see the same colors differently, or don’t see them at all, but they have different interpretations of the very same inputs, stimuli, and data. Furthermore, the human’s built-in mechanism for maintaining color constancy should not be regarded as an illusion (cf. Foster, ), though it is often used as such (cf. Albertazzi, ). For example, in the real world we assume color constancy in the presence of shadows, even though this information can wrongly be used as evidence for illusion or bias when judging luminance or color in pictures (Adelson, ; cf. Gilchrist, 2006; Purves, ; Rogers, ).
These authors find that the belief in a real materialworld behind our senseperceptions may tend to encourage too close adherenceto reasonably successful physical theories with too small allowance fortheir necessary revision to meet the demands of new experience (p.
The clerk in the Post Office readthe regulations aloud: "Well", he said "Dogs is dogs andcats is dogs, squirrels in cages is birds - - and baby turtles is insects"For postal purposes this alternative structure was preferred to the usualLinnean structure in zoology.
In some cases egoless experiences are not only without ego but also withoutother content such as perceptions, thoughts etc.
It is recognized in India that the things of this world are always movngand changing, but the substance of things is seen as basically unchanging,its underlying reality unaffected by the ceaseless flux.
My perception was that this class would teach me more about business when choosing new products to develop, investment opportunities, and more tangible focused strategies....
Of course, not just anything is “prime”-able or susceptible to so-called “top down” (e.g., categories or language) effects on perception (as discussed by Firestone & Scholl, 2015). However, our emphasis is on the fact that most perceptual cues and stimuli can be interpreted in different ways, far from yielding singular responses. The use of attentional cues or primes in experiments merely is a (adaptive and rational) response to having to deal with ambiguous stimuli in uncertain environments.
One might resist this claim on the basis of the cognitive penetration of experience by belief (Stokes ) or there being no sharp distinction between perception and cognition, as in predictive processing models (Clark ).
For further discussion and debate about the interface theory of perception, see a recent set of articles published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review (Hickok, ).
Bayesian models of cognition and rationality have of course been criticized in the literature, for their seeming similarities to behaviorism, lack of attention to underlying mechanisms, their equating rationality with computation, lack of empirical findings, and overly strong focus on rationality, etc. (e.g., Bowers & Davis, ; Jones & Love, ). Our focus here is different, in that we highlight the perception and vision-related assumptions made by this literature.
We hope that our arguments can help build a foundation for alternative ways of thinking about judgment, decision making, and rationality. Just as the perception literature—some of which we have cited—features a more pragmatic and multi-dimensional approach to seeing and vision, the rationality literature might also consider the “usefulness” (and striking successes) of human reasoning and judgment in disparate contexts that feature much ambiguity and possibility. The literature on “biases as heuristics” (Gigerenzer & Todd, ) has begun to move us in this direction, although it has also inherited some problematic assumptions about perception. But there is also an opportunity to study the varied organism-specific and contextual factors that shape human cognition and decisions in natural settings. Furthermore, human agents also actively engage with the world on the basis of their expectations, conjectures, and theories, which also provides a promising opportunity for future work. Most real-world settings feature a wild assortment of possible stimuli and cues, allowing for varied types of rationalities and interpretations (even of the same stimulus), thus requiring us to expand the scope of how rationality is specified, studied, and understood. If our suggested reorientation of the study of rationality takes hold, then it will move the literature toward recognizing cognition, judgment, and rationality as a multi-stable affair. We hope that our paper, while provocative, has at least opened up a conversation about the perception-rationality link and perhaps even a conversation about the very nature of rationality.
The Spirit of Want This book is the story of a woman who is successful yet, when a man comes into her life, she loses it all. This is the story of Lucy MacMeil, the daughter of a successful doctor and the wife of an equally successful surgeon. Lucy is a defense lawyer by profession and she really enjoys […]