The Sensory Ordering Thesis

Mohan Matthen

in Seeing, Doing, and Knowing

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780199268504
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602283 | DOI:
The Sensory Ordering Thesis

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The Sensory Ordering Thesis is a ramified version of the Sensory Classification Thesis presented in Ch.1; it acknowledges that most sensory systems order distal objects, rather than place them in discrete classes. Sense features Agenerate@ their sub-classes in an interesting sense noticed by W. E. Johnson: the perceptual grasp of inclusive features such as red is based on a grasp of graded similarity relations among the sub-classes thereof. Variation with respect to a single sensory parameter such as colour is invariable in a number of significant ways, but ‘overall‘ similarity with respect to several sensory parameters is variable across different graphical representations. This shows that overall similarity is an artefact, while similarity with respect to a single parameter is forced upon us by sensory cognition.

Keywords: determinables; determinates; multidimensional scaling; Nelson Goodman; representational invariance; similarity; similarity space; W. E. Johnson

Chapter.  11903 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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