Shape Constancy

Psychologists have known about the phenomenon of shape constancy for about a century and a half.  It is the phenomenon according to which, throughout variations in angle of presentation, an object looks to be a constant shape.  Despite this settled fact, it is hard to deny that a penny, for example, looks somehow different with respect to shape as it rotates towards and away from the viewer.  How are we to describe this difference in the way the shape looks, despite its looking to be the same shape?  Many philosophers  are committed - either explicitly or implicitly - to the view that the difference consists in the penny's appearing more or less elliptical.  We will describe a series of shape priming experiments that bring this claim into question.  We will outline an alternative view according to which the difference in the way the shape looks consists in the perceiver's own sense of having a better or worse experience of the shape.

Double Prevention

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The Philosophical Psychology Lab meets every Friday from 4 to 5 in Vanserg 111.

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