Are the internalist and externalist accounts of perception such as vision possible?


Philosophers distinguish internalist accounts, which assume that perceptions of objects, and knowledge or beliefs about them, are aspects of an individual's mind, and externalist accounts, which state that they constitute real aspects of the world external to the individual.


Now when it comes to vision I'm not sure such a demarcation is possible and more of an approximation. I consider the following:

  1. Starting from a quantum level. One can think of the eye as a light detector.
  2. Now since in quantum mechanics one only has knowledge of observables.
  3. then using one photon one can only distinguish between two orthogonal states.
  4. In the emergent classical world where one can (possibly) claim they have done an infinite amount of measurements.
  5. I am under the impression this is not how the human eye functions and is it is an approximation.
  6. Also one would probably use a notion of conditional probability (internalist) to determine something externalist.
  • "Perception" doesn't necessarily mean "vision" -- please edit that (perception) out; "sensible" doesn't mean "possible", so edit that (sensible) out, too. Also, by "possibility" do you mean the validity/soundness of said views, or merely is potential to be valid/sound? – user96931 Nov 23 '19 at 19:30
  • This Wikipedea article does not use "externalist" and "internalist" correctly, the standard terms are realism and anti-realism. And they do not specify mechanics of perception, or any other sense. Your question seems to be based on the colloquial reading of "internal" and "external". On that level it is noncontroversial that perception involves both external stimuli and internal processing, whether one is a realist or an anti-realist. – Conifold Nov 24 '19 at 8:27
  • Any good references? @Conifold – More Anonymous Nov 24 '19 at 8:56
  • On Internalism/Externalism or Realism/Anti-realism? – Conifold Nov 24 '19 at 9:05
  • @Conifold both would be good :) – More Anonymous Nov 24 '19 at 9:06

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