Acta Analytica

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 11–15 | Cite as

Generalizing the Disappearing Act: A Reply to István Aranyosi



In “The Reappearing Act” István Aranyosi postulates a new way of seeing to solve a puzzle posed in “The Disappearing Act;” an object that is exactly shaded can be seen simply by virtue of its contrast with its environment – just like a shadow. This object need not reflect, refract, absorb or block light. To undermine the motive for this heretical innovation, I generalize the puzzle to situations involving inexact shading. Aranyosi cannot extend his solution to these variations because he needs to conserve principles of camouflage. On the bright side, the solution to the puzzle that I propose in my book Seeing Dark Things does extend to these variations.


Shadow Paradox Vision Hole Crack Perception 



I thank Francis Jeffry Pelletier and Mark Steen for their counsel on mass terms.


  1. Aranyosi, I. (2008). The reappearing act. Acta Analytica, this volume doi: 10.1007/s12136-008-0040-2.
  2. Balashov, Y. (1999). Zero-value physical quantities. Synthese, 119, 253–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Casati, R., & Varzi, A. (1994). Holes and other superficialities. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Sorensen, R. (2008). Seeing dark things. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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