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Perception$
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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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Intentionality and the Theory of Vision

Intentionality and the Theory of Vision

Chapter:
(p.232) 10 Intentionality and the Theory of Vision
Source:
Perception
Author(s):

Frances Egan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195084627.003.0010

The chapter discusses David Marr's theory of vision, which likens the visual system to an information-processing system with three levels: the topmost “theory of computation,” the algorithmic level, and the implementation level. Marr's work, which is based on computational theory, has been assumed by many acolytes of this field of study to be “intentional.” This chapter aims to refute this assumption utilizing the broad tenets of computational methodology. It argues that, in utilizing the formal, mathematical paradigms of computational theory, Marr's theory is rendered essentially neutral, with no accompanying interpretations. Of course, interpretations based on underlying, external factors can also be valid, but are not essential, even if assigning intentional content can have practical uses for the researcher. The chapter ends the discourse by countering the proposed argument of “narrow content,” which posits that the primitives of Marr's vision theory are intentional, while their content is independent of external, causal factors.

Keywords:   David Marr, theory of vision, intentional, narrow content, computational theory, algorithmic level, implementation level

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