Intentionality and the Theory of Vision

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chapter discusses David Marr's theory of vision, which likens the visual system to an information-processing system with three levels: the topmost "theory of computation," the algorithmic level, and the implementation level. Marr's work, which is based on computational theory, has been assumed by many acolytes of this field of study to be "intentional." This chapter aims to refute this assumption utilizing the broad tenets of computational methodology. It argues that, in utilizing the formal, mathematical paradigms of computational theory, Marr's theory is rendered essentially neutral, with no accompanying interpretations. Of course, interpretations based on underlying, external factors can also be valid, but are not essential, even if assigning intentional content can have practical uses for the researcher. The chapter ends the discourse by countering the proposed argument of "narrow content," which posits that the primitives of Marr's vision theory are intentional, while their content is independent of external, causal factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPerception
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199847167
ISBN (Print)9780195084627
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


  • Algorithmic level
  • Computational theory
  • David marr
  • Implementation level
  • Intentional
  • Narrow content
  • Theory of vision

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Intentionality and the Theory of Vision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this