Perceiving Emotions: Liberalism and Cognitive Penetrability
Josefa Toribio (ICREA-Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

October 23, 2014, 6:15pm - 7:45pm
Swiss Centre in the Affective Sciences, University of Geneva


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Thumos - the genevan research group on emotions, values and norms

Swiss National Center for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva

Next Thursday at 4.15 p.m., Pepa Toribio (ICREA/Universitat de Barcelona) will present her paper: "Perceiving Emotions: Liberalism and Cognitive Penetrability" (abstract below).

We will meet at the Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences, at the Campus Biotech (9, Chemin des Mines, 1202 Geneva; see directions and map below), in the small conference room. 

Please come at 4 p.m. at the main entrance, so that we can provide you with a badge to access the building. In case you have trouble finding us, please call me at 076/561.71.35.

Attendance is free. All welcome!

Best wishes,

Santiago, on behalf of Thumos



According to so-called "rich" or "liberal" views, we can visually experience high-level properties such as being sad or being angry. By contrast, according to "sparse" or "conservative" views, visual experience can only involve low-level features such as colour, shape, texture or location. Unsurprisingly, philosophical arguments on both sides of the debate have failed to settle this issue. In this talk, I discuss some recent studies in social vision and conclude that data from this branch of vision science help strengthen liberalism. Along the way, I will tackle a different but related topic, namely the relationship between the claim that visual experience is rich and the view that it is cognitively penetrable. Despite their logical independence, both theses tend to go hand in hand in the literature. I will argue that there is, however, an interesting and so far overlooked tension: the stronger the evidence in favour of rich views, the less plausible the cognitive penetrability claim seems to be.

How to reach the Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences?

Access from the Cornavin train station

The closest tram/bus stops are called “France” (tram stop) and “Mines” (bus stop). There are two ways to come to the Center from the Cornavin train station.

1) Take bus 25  or 1 until the stop “Mines” (6th stop). The bus stops right in front of the main entrance.

2) Take tram 15  until the stop “France” (3rd stop), walk downhill for about 100 meters (2 minutes), towards the lake, then turn left on "Avenue Blanc". At the end of the street (about 300 meters), you will reach the main entrance of the building at 9 chemin des Mines.

See map on

You can find more information about our weekly seminar and about Thumos on

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