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Does Topological Perception Rest Upon A Misconception About Topology?

Abstract : In this article I assess some results that purport to show the existence of a type of ‘topological perception', i.e., perceptually based classification of topological features. Striking findings about perception in insects appear to imply that (1) configural, global properties can be considered as primitive perceptual features, and (2) topological features in particular are interesting as they are amenable to formal treatment. I discuss four interrelated questions that bear on any interpretation of findings about the perception of topological properties: what exactly are topological properties, what makes them global, in what sense the quoted findings makes them primitive, and what are the hopes of a formal theory of perception based upon them. I suggest that mathematical topology is not the correct model for cognition topological properties, hence that some other formalism ought to be used—a form of ‘‘internalized topology.'' However, once the principles of this type of topology are spelled out, they may not be as globalistic as one may have expected.
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Contributor : Roberto Casati <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - 3:00:28 PM
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Roberto Casati. Does Topological Perception Rest Upon A Misconception About Topology?. Philosophical Psychology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2009, 22 (1), pp.75-79. ⟨10.1080/09515080802703711⟩. ⟨ijn_00544211⟩



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