Husserl on Perceptual Constancy



Abstract: In philosophy, perceptual constancy refers to the puzzling phenomenon of the perception of properties of objects despite our changing experience of those properties. Husserl developed a sophisticated description of perceptual constancy. In this paper I sketch Husserl's approach, which focuses on the suggestion that perception is partly constituted by the continuous interplay of intention and fulfilment. Unlike many contemporary theories, this framework gives us a way to understand the relationship between different appearances of the same object. I will show how Husserl's work connects with contemporary theories which emphasize perceptual constancy from particular perspectives. These theories include appeals to perspectival properties and Cohen's counterfactual theory. Also, I show how Husserl's account shares important themes with Kelly's recent interpretation of Merleau-Ponty on perceptual constancy.