Balint’s Syndrome, Visual Motion Perception, and Awareness of Space
- 324 Downloads
Kant, Wittgenstein, and Husserl all held that visual awareness of objects requires visual awareness of the space in which the objects are located. There is a lively debate in the literature on spatial perception whether this view is undermined by the results of experiments on a Balint’s syndrome patient, known as RM. I argue that neither of two recent interpretations of these results is able to explain RM’s apparent ability to experience motion. I outline some ways in which each interpretation may respond to this challenge, and suggest which way of meeting the challenge is preferable. I conclude that RM retains some awareness of the larger space surrounding the objects he sees.
I am grateful to Robert Briscoe, Alissa Mandrigin, John Schwenkler, and the anonymous reviewer for this journal for detailed comments on a previous version of this paper. I have also benefited from discussing this paper with Eli Chudnoff and Brit Brogaard.
- French, C. (in preparation). Bálint’s syndrome and the structure of visual experience. Retrieved from http://craigafrench.github.io/assets/CFBalintsPaper.pdf.
- Husserl, E. (1997). Thing and space: Lectures of 1907 (R. Rojcewicz, Trans.). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
- Kant, I.: Critique of pure reason (N. Kemp Smith, Trans.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan (1787/2007).Google Scholar
- Mather, G. (2005). Motion perception, psychology. In L. Nadel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cognitive science. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Peacocke, C. (1992). A study of concepts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Wittgenstein, L. (1975). Philosophical remarks (R. Hargreaves & R. White, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar