Specular highlights as a guide to perceptual content
This article is a contribution to a recent debate in the philosophy of perception between Alva Noë and Sean Kelly. Noë (2004) has argued that the perspectival part of perception is simultaneously represented along with the non-perspectival part of perception. Kelly (2004) argues that the two parts of perception are not always simultaneously experienced. Here I focus on specular highlights as an example of the perspectival part of perception. First I give a priori motivation to think that specular highlights are experienced at the same time as non-perspectival properties, which challenges Kelly's position. Then I discuss psychophysical work by Andrew Blake and Heinrich Bülthoff (1990) which seems to show that specular highlights are not represented in the way that Noë (2004) would suggest. In the third section I suggest a compromise between Noë and Kelly: specular highlights are not represented, but rather play an evidentiary role in the representation of perspective-independent properties, like gloss and shape. I conclude with some thoughts about how this study can generalize to other kinds of experience.
Specular highlights as a guide to perceptual content.
Philosophical Psychology, 21(5), 629–639.