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Perceptual Ephemera$
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Thomas Crowther and Clare Mac Cumhaill

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198722304

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198722304.001.0001

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No More than Meets the Eye

No More than Meets the Eye

Shadows as Pure Visibilia

(p.172) 9 No More than Meets the Eye
Perceptual Ephemera

Ian Phillips

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops a view of shadows as pure visibilia: objects constitutively and exhaustively connected in nature, existence and qualities to our experience of them. It takes as its stalking horse Sorensen’s very different view, arguing that, contrary to his intended purpose, the hypothesis that shadows are pure visibilia provides a more satisfying account of his striking cases of shadow movement. The claim that shadows are pure visibilia is further motivated by drawing on considerations from aesthetics and vision science. The chapter ends with a puzzle: if shadows do not strictly represent independent elements of our environments, why do we perceive them at all? A speculative answer is tendered. Shadows are visual artefacts: creatures of the light world, carved by our visual systems in the service of the better detection and discrimination of ordinary material objects.

Keywords:   shadows, pure visibilia, subjectivism, Roy Sorensen, vision science

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