Perceptual discrimination is the act of distinguishing between different items that are in the perceptual field. In this post, part of my series on perception, I will look at barcode scanning to illustrate what discrimination is, and its role. And I will use this example to further clarify the distinction between direct perception and indirect perception, at least as I use those terms.
The two most important theories of perception are representationalism on the one hand, and direct perception on the other. There are probably many versions of each of those, and there are some other theories which I see as less important. By far, the dominant theory — the one most widely accepted — is representationalism. However, as mentioned in the previous post in this series on perception, I happen to prefer the idea of direct perception.
In this post, I plan to do to things:
- I will briefly describe both representationalism and direct perception, and their disagreements;
- I shall try to address some of the misconceptions about direct perception that seem to crop up.
In my previous post in this series, I explained why I thought there were problems with truth as correspondence to the facts. In this post, I will discuss the idea of truth as correspondence with reality.
There’s an intuitive sense in which “correspondence with reality” seems to be about what we think we mean when we talk about the truth of a statement. The biggest difficult, though, is that we would need a good account of what “correspondence” means before we could ever get started with using truth.
In an earlier post, I wrote:
That leaves, as one of the basic problems for a cognitive agent, the problem of getting information about the world.
In this post, I want to discuss why that is a problem.
Many people seem to hold the view that sensory cells in the body passively receive input from the world, and that how we perceive the world depends on what we do with that passively received data. That seems to be the view of proponents of sense-data accounts and of proponents of computationalism.
A lot of theorizing about cognition has to do with the such questions as
- What is thinking, and how is it done?
- What is experience, and how come we have it?
Then, having selected such issues, theorists then set themselves the problem of how would one design an agent or a robot which can do such things as think and have experience.
When I started thinking about cognition, I took a different approach. I looked at the problems that a cognitive agent needs to solve. Most obvious, among those, is the problem of survival as a biological organism. And, having settled on a problem that agent needs to solve, I set about trying to understand what could evolve to solve that problem.