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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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Objective Perception

Objective Perception

(p.268) 12 Objective Perception

John Haugeland

Oxford University Press

This chapter qualifies the term objective perception to be exclusive to people, without presuming that all human perception is objective, but asserting that some definitely are. Objectivity, pertaining to perception, is defined to be the formal structure that envelops the perceiver, the act of perceiving, that which is perceived, and their interrelationships. The succeeding sections tackle a fundamental question regarding the object—which is perceived, and why it is “selectively” perceived from an array of other causal factors involved in the act of perceiving. The chapter draws on conclusions gleaned from studies involving supermonkeys learning to play chess, which shows that the understanding of constitutive standards—norms, conditions, and social standards governing both the object perceived and the act of perceiving—are essential to making objective perceptions. Linguistic ability is also proven to be non-essential to the said exercise.

Keywords:   objective perception, perception, object, constitutive standards, supermonkeys, linguistic ability

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