When viewing a circular coin rotated in depth, it fills an elliptical region of the distal scene. For some, this appears to generate a two-fold experience, in which one sees the coin as simultaneously circular (in light of its 3D shape) and elliptical (in light of its 2D ‘perspectival shape’ or ‘p-shape’). An energetic philosophical debate asks whether the latter p-shapes are genuinely presented in perceptual experience (as ‘perspectivalists’ argue) or if, instead, this appearance is somehow derived or inferred from experience (as ‘anti-perspectivalists’ argue). This debate, however, has largely turned on introspection. In a recent study, Morales et al. (2020) aim to provide the first empirical test of this question. They asked subjects to find an elliptical coin, seen face-on from a search array that also included a circular coin seen either face-on or at an angle. They found that subjects reacted more slowly when the distracting circle was seen at an angle, such that its p-shape matched that of the target ellipse. From this, they concluded that the similar p-shape between the ellipse and circle constituted a phenomenal similarity between the two, and thus that perspectivalism is true. We show that these results can also be explained by pre-attentive guidance by unconscious representations and that this explanation is at least as plausible as one from phenomenal similarity. Thus, we conclude that the experiment does not support perspectivalism over anti-perspectivalism.
|Title of host publication
|Conscious and Unconscious Mentality
|Subtitle of host publication
|Examining their Nature, Similarities, and Differences
|Taylor and Francis
|Number of pages
|Published - 1 Jan 2023
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Juraj Hvoreck, Tomáš Marvan, Michal Polák, and University of West Bohemia; individual chapters, the contributors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Arts and Humanities
- General Psychology