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Seeing Dark ThingsThe Philosophy of Shadows$
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Roy Sorensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326574.001.0001

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Seeing Surfaces

Seeing Surfaces

Chapter:
(p.44) 2 Seeing Surfaces
Source:
Seeing Dark Things
Author(s):

Roy Sorensen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326574.003.0003

This chapter defends a surprising implication of the causal theory of perception: we see silhouetted objects by virtue of seeing their back surfaces. The primacy of surfaces is reviewed to support the principle that we see opaque objects by seeing their surfaces. Since the front surface of a silhouetted object is idle, the causal theory rules out the possibility that we see silhouettes by seeing their front surfaces. Only back surfaces are available.

Keywords:   surface, causal, silhouette, opaque

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