some things were once the case in extra-cinematic reality and, subsequently, that such and such is the case in the fictional story of the character Holly Golightly.
Another big objection would be that the visual specificity of secondary
seeing is canceled by the role of inference. I think this charge is groundless. Secondary, like primary, cognitive perception involves the generation of cognitions and beliefs about objects and situations by visual
means. The processes by which these judgments are acquired may well
be, at some level of description, reasoning-like or computational. But
cognitive perception in general, and secondary seeing in particular, need
not involve any conscious intellectual procedures of forming judgments
on the basis of visual evidence. Seeing that the cat is on the sofa, seeing
by the gauge that the gas tank is empty, and so on do not entail acts, however swift, of deliberation or justification. On the contrary, they short-circuit inferential exercises and discursive processes that might otherwise
stand between seeing and knowing.
Hence the sensory state's informative properties might straightaway
cause a suitably constituted viewer to recognize a depiction of Hepburn
and to see by the image that she had stood before Tiffany's. Maybe a
good rule of thumb is that where the boundary between cognitive perception and epistemic achievements in general is vague, "seeing that"
and "seeing by" locutions fail to denote distinctly visual accomplishments to the degree that conscious inferential processes intervene between seeing O and coming to any realizations about O or a situation
systematically related to it.
Fred Dretske, "Meaningful Perception", in Visual Cognition, 2d ed., ed. Daniel N. Osherson and
Stephen M. Kosslyn ( Cambridge, Mass.: M.I.T. Press, 1995), 331-352; "The Percept in Visual Cognition", in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science IX: Perception and Cognition: Issues in the Foundations of Psychology, ed.
C. Wade Savage ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1978), 107-127; Seeing and Knowing ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969). Some of
the conceptual roots of Dretske's distinction between seeing objects and seeing
facts can be traced to G. J. Warnock, "Seeing", Aristotelian Society Proceedings 55 ( 1955): 201-218. See also Frank N. Sibley, "Analyzing Seeing (1)", in Perception, ed. Frank N. Sibley ( London: Methuen, 1971), 81-132.
Say that the currently accepted, or any future new and improved, description of the causal sequence associated with seeing an object turns out to be false;
or that it does not begin to explain how creatures on other planets see; or say that
we discover a person demonstrably able to see things on the other side of a concrete wall, without the light reflected by those things reaching his eyes by any
means. Because it is not a causal theory of perception -- it does not propose to define what seeing is in terms of a given causal sequence A-B-C -- Dretske's concept
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: What Is Non-Fiction Cinema?On the Very Idea of Motion Picture Communication.
Contributors: Trevor Ponech - Author.
Publisher: Westview Press.
Place of publication: Boulder, CO.
Publication year: 1999.
Page number: 206.
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