Seeing Empty Space



Abstract: In this paper I offer an account of a particular variety of perception of absence, namely, visual perception of empty space. In so doing, I aim to make explicit the role that seeing empty space has, implicitly, in Mike Martin's account of the visual field. I suggest we should make sense of the claim that vision has a field—in Martin'ss sense—in terms of our being aware of its limitations or boundaries. I argue that the limits of the visual field are our own sensory limitations, and that we are aware of them as such. Seeing empty space, I argue, involves a structural feature of experience that constitutes our awareness of our visual sensory limitations, and thus, in virtue of which vision has a field.