European Journal of Philosophy

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Volume 23 Issue 3 (September 2015), Pages 349-813

Seeing Motion and Apparent Motion (pages 676-702)


In apparent motion experiments, participants are presented with what is in fact a succession of two brief stationary stimuli at two different locations, but they report an impression of movement. Philosophers have recently debated whether apparent motion provides evidence in favour of a particular account of the nature of temporal experience. I argue that the existing discussion in this area is premised on a mistaken view of the phenomenology of apparent motion and, as a result, the space of possible philosophical positions has not yet been fully explored. In particular, I argue that the existence of apparent motion is compatible with an account of the nature of temporal experience that involves a version of direct realism. In doing so, I also argue against two other claims often made about apparent motion, viz. that apparent motion is the psychological phenomenon that underlies motion experience in the cinema, and that apparent motion is subjectively indistinguishable from real motion.

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