Seeing and Seeing As

Matthew D. Lund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the last chapter we encountered four figures—a cube, a rhomboid, a staircase, and a tunnel—all of which displayed the phenomenon of reversible perspective. We also considered two drawings which, besides showing some variability in perspective, were marked by shifts in organization, or in aspect. These were called the “duck-rabbit” and the “wife-mother-in-law” respectively. In each case the question was asked, “Do we all see the same thing?” For there was no question here of a differing retinal reaction. The stimulus pattern is roughly the same for all onlookers. Nor is it easy to see how we could defensibly speak of our different reactions to these figures as being accompanied by different visual sensations, i.e., different sense-data. And yet, undeniably, different reports are forthcoming when we ask of people viewing these figures, “What do you see?”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages16
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Logic


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