From sensory biology to a philosophy of perception
Title
From sensory biology to a philosophy of perception
Price
€ 41,95 excl. VAT
ISBN
9789085550938
Format
Paperback
Number of pages
208
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
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0 Preface 0.1 The spark V 0.2 The process V 0.3 The form V 0.4 The design VI 0.5 The reading VIII Acknowledgements IX Contents XI List of text boxes XV PART I WHAT COMMON SENSE AND THE LIFE SCIENCES TELL US ABOUT SENSORY SYSTEMS 1 1 General introduction 3 1.1 Senses and their operation 3 1.2 Some definitions 4 1.3 Defining the problem 6 2 What the life sciences tell about the sensory systems 7 2.1 Introduction 7 2.2 Two examples 8 2.3 Sensory systems: information and stimulus 11 2.4 Classification of sensory-systems and some aspects of stimuli 13 2.5 Some aspects of stimuli and learning-machinery 14 2.6 Perception as the origin of knowledge 17 3 What the life sciences tell about the sensory systems (continued) 21 3.1 Introduction 21 3.2 Scope of human sense-systems 21 3.3 Some observatioins on the (human) animal's awareness of his environment 22 3.4 'Reality' is not ? 26 4 Darwin, anti-Darwin and Evolutionary Epistemology 28 4.1 Introduction 28 4.2 Creationism and Intelligent Design 29 4.3 Darwinism and neo-Darwinism 31 4.4 Neo-Darwinism yes, but= 33 4.5 Evolutionary epistemology 36 5 The unacceptable legacy of Aristotle's holy five 40 5.1 Introduction 40 5.2 Innateness 40 5.3 Five (!) senses (?) 42 5.4 Homeostasis 47 5.5 The tomato-illusion 49 PART II FROM OBJECTIVITY TO SUBJECTIVITY 52 6 Sense-data, the bird's eye view 54 6.1 Introduction 54 6.2 The case of the penny 55 6.3 Beyond the penny 55 6.4 So ... 56 7 Sensory perception and the environment 58 7.1 Introduction 58 7.2 The 'problem of perception' 58 7.3 The case of Macbeth's 'dagger' 60 7.4 Fruits of perception 61 7.5 Sensory systems and the environment 62 7.6 The 'fit' of the sensory systems with the environment 65 8 Non-sensory sensing and non-linguistic thinking 67 8.1 Introduction 67 8.2 Introspection 67 8.3 Intuition 69 8.4 The mind's eye 71 8.4.1 Introduction 71 8.4.2 Other fields 72 8.4.3 Sensory systems and the mind's eye 73 8.5 Meditation and contemplation 74 8.6 Summary 74 9 Mystical experience as an empirical fact 75 9.1 Introduction 75 9.2 Sources 75 9.3 Language 76 9.4 Experience 77 9.5 Substance 78 9.6 Training 78 9.7 After-effects 79 9.8 Social status of the mystic 80 9.9 Points of debate 81 9.10 Mind and brain in relation to mysticism 83 9.11 Conclusion 84 PART III FROM SENSING AND PERCEPTION TO CONSCIOUSNESS. BRAIDING THE WATTLE, CONSTRUCTING THE RAFT 87 10 From sensory systems to experience 89 10.1 Introduction 89 10.2 Levels of sensing and levels of perception: prelude to experience 89 10.3 Defining experience 92 10.4 The something personally encountered and undergone 92 10.4.1 Introduction 92 10.4.2 Phenomena 93 10.4.3 The consciousness side of perceiving 94 11 Information 96 11.1 Introduction 96 11.2 Information as features of the environment 96 11.3 Interlude 99 11.4 Biosemiotics 100 11.4.1 Prelude 101 11.4.2 Basics 101 11.5 Biosemiotics and perception 102 11.6 Summary in a larger context 103 12 The construction of some foothold in the swamp 104 12.1 Introduction 104 12.2 Chisholm's philosophical compass 105 12.3 The circle of knowledge and perception 106 12.4 Classification of sensory systems 109 12.4.1 Introduction 109 12.4.2 Criteria for classifying 109 12.4.3 The beginnings of classification 111 12.5 Receptor signals in the CNS 113 12.5.1 Introduction 113 12.5.2 The brain 114 12.5.3 Mind and consciousness 115 12.5.4 Conscious(ness) or not, gap or not: the question 116 12.5.5 Consciousness 118 12.6 Commuting between consiousness and perception 121 12.7 Conclusion 123 13 Twining the pieces together / 'Summing-up' 125 14 Addenda 127 14.1 Spandrel 127 14.2 On Sensory Substitution Devices (SSDs) 128 14.2.1 Introduction 128 14.2.2 Some examples and some discoveries 128 14.3 Narcissus 130 14.4 Eliminative materialism 132 14.5 Process 134 14.6 Apology 136 15 Summary 139 16 Samenvatting 145 17 References 151 17.1 Name Index 159 17.2 Subject Index 163 17.3 Abbreviations 166 17.4 Powers of Ten 167 18 About the author 168

Louw Feenstra

From sensory biology to a philosophy of perception

Sensory systems are specialized cells of plants and animals sensitive to swift variations in the environment. To Aristotle's five human senses (vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch) comparatively recent research added many more structures with the capacity to react upon internal or external events or stimuli. Beyond his senses man has several extrasensory ways to gather knowledge such as reason, intuition, introspection, the mind's eye and mysticism. The combined activity of sensory systems and the brain leads to assembly of information from the environmental bombardment of 4-D stimuli. This results in experience most of which remains unconscious. As a relatively late spandrel like phenomenon of evolution consciousness arose. This brain's action does not cause consciousness, it ìs consciousness.
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Author

Louw Feenstra

Louw Feenstra V is emeritus hoogleraar keel-, neus- en oorheelkunde en promoveerde in 2014 aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen in de filosofie op het onderwerp zintuigen.