act-object ambiguity

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Ambiguity between an actual action, and the upshot of an action. This ambiguity is visible in words like ‘observation’: an observation may be a process that takes time and is performed by someone, or it may be the piece of information that is the upshot of such a process. Many philosophers of mind believe that a similar ambiguity distorts thinking about experience, and especially perception. Perception should be thought of in terms of an active process of engagement with the world, rather than the presence of an object (a display) in the theatre of the mind.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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