CFP: The Thought and Sense Conference

Submission deadline: July 15, 2017

Conference date(s):
November 2, 2017 - November 4, 2017

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

CSMN/Dept of Philosophy. (IFIKK), University of Oslo
Oslo, Norway

Topic areas


Confirmed participants include:

• Tim Bayne (Monash),

• Ned Block (NYU),

• Berit Brogaard (Miami),

• Mette Hansen (University of Bergen),

• Grace Helton (Princeton),

• Uriah Kriegel (Institut Jean Nicod, Paris),

• Michael F. Martin (UCL, UC Berkeley),

• Fiona McPherson (Glasgow),

• Michelle Montague (University of Texas),

• Jessica Pepp (University of Umeå),

• Maja Spener (Birmingham)


The distinction between sense perception and cognition is central to our conception of the mind, and crucial to several debates in philosophy, in epistemology, philosophy of science, theories of concepts and mental content, and beyond. Yet there has been comparatively little systematic and focused discussion on what, more exactly, the difference between perception and cognition comes to.

Recent developments call for a fresh and focused discussion of this question. Some of the traditional marks of the perceptual – e.g. distinctive immediacy, vivacity, or forcefulness; qualitative character or phenomenality; nonconceptuality; and cognitive impenetrability – have encountered serious challenges. Work in cognitive science, e.g. on predictive processing, has emphasized the importance of top-down processing, and such influentially posited capacities as ‘System 1’ or ‘core cognition’ seem to be neither clearly perceptual nor clearly cognitive.

So, is there one contrast between perception and cognition or many? Is there continuity or discontinuity? If there is an important distinction, how is it to be characterized? While there is a growing body of literature on the cognitive penetrability of perception, the focus of this conference, while related, is importantly different: it concerns not so much how often a certain boundary is crossed and what counts as crossing, but whether there is a boundary, whether there is one boundary or many (possibly cross-cutting), and whether the existence of a boundary, if there is one, has any of the interesting consequences in epistemology or other areas that it has often been thought to have. Thus, this conference will address the character and the consequences of the perception-cognition distinction.

The conference will bring together top theorists in the field, as well as novel contributions by young researchers. 

Call for abstracts for poster presentations:

We invite long abstracts for poster presentations on the topic of the conference. The posters will be put up at the conference venue and there will be a two-hour poster session where authors will have the opportunity to present their work. We especially encourage submissions from PhD students and other early career researchers. Abstracts should not exceed 1000 words, and should be prepared for blind review. The deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 15th July 2017. Authors will be notified of acceptance by August 31st, 2017. Limited funds for supporting travel may be available.

All abstracts should be sent to: [email protected]

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