Friday, October 29, 2004

Perception as Inference (again)

E.T. Jaynes, PROBABILITY OF THEORY: THE LOGIC OF SCIENCE Section 5.4 at 133 (2003):
Seeing is not a direct apprehension of reality, as we often like to pretend. Quite the contrary: seeing is inference from incomplete information, no different in nature from the inference that we are studying here. The information that reaches us through our eyes is grossly inadequate to determine what is "really there" before us.
N.B. The discussion here does not suggest that Jaynes was intimately familiar with recent research on the logic of perception. But he was prescient in suggesting that researchers should investigate whether Bayesian logic informs perception.
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