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Elizabeth Akins

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195084627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195084627.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 June 2021

Explaining Why Things Look the Way They Do

Explaining Why Things Look the Way They Do

(p.18) 2 Explaining Why Things Look the Way They Do

Kirk A. Ludwing

Oxford University Press

In tackling the question of how we are able to see the world as it is, this chapter makes the assumption that what we perceive is real and truthful and focuses instead on ferreting out the relationship between the environment that we are seeing and our own processes of perception. The first part of this chapter explains the “Inference Theory of Perception,” which assumes that our representations of the world—those which allow us to perceive truth and fact—originate from our own unconscious inferences of relationships between environmental cues, which are based on our knowledge and experiences. This assumes that there is an underlying logic to the way we connect these pre-conscious states, which is similar to the way we form sentences. The succeeding sections detail the arguments and objections to the said theory, especially relating to whether the way we process environmental stimuli is indeed done unconsciously.

Keywords:   perception, truth, Inference Theory of Perception, unconscious, environmental cues, stimuli

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