Re: recognition of photos

Florian Schmid (florian.schmid@STUDENT.UNI-TUEBINGEN.DE)
Thu, 27 Jul 1995 18:45:59 +0200

As far as modern western culture is concerned, philosophy of science
suggests that recognition of any visual representation has to be learned.
Ludwik Fleck gives an example of how the ability to *see* whatever is shown
under a microscope has to be acquired. (e.g. "Ueber die wissenschaftliche
Beobachtung und die Wahrnehmung im allgemeinen",
"Wissenschaftstheoretische Probleme" and "Schauen, Sehen, Wissen", all
in: "Erfahrung und Tatsache - Collected Essays", Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt
1983. Unfortunately I don't know whether there's an English edition of
the essays. Fleck's "Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact" has
been translated though: Ed. by Thaddeus J. Trenn and Robert K. Merton,
Chicago/London 1979) Paul Feyerabend suggests similar things (although he
may rely on Fleck). To make things short, I think that this suggests that
the notion that people first have to learn what to expect when they see
representations they are not used to before they can recognize them is a
cross-cultural phenomenon.