Perceiving transience

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Does perception feed on static or dynamic input? Do we perceive motion like in the movies, through exposure to a series of frozen snapshots, which are processed to yield the experience of motion, or is motion given to us immediately in perception? Change takes time; it does not happen at an instant. This is true in particular of motion. It takes the bus gliding along the street below a couple of seconds to vanish around the corner. During these few seconds it passes through a series of spatial locations, occupying them in succession. Seeing it move seems to consist of a corresponding succession of perceptions. But, as James famously pointed out, a succession of perceptions does not yet constitute a perception of succession. Something has to unify the corresponding succession of disparate perceptions into an experience of motion. Or else, perhaps the perception of motion is not based on a succession of perceptions at all. Perhaps motion is perceived in one perceptual act, not via an integration of several “static” perceptions. I’ll consider each of these suggestions, but will defend a version of the latter
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of the Philosophy of Time
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781136596889
ISBN (Print)9780415891103
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2013


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