Cognition Does Not Affect Perception
Chaz Firestone

April 23, 2019, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh

1117 Cathedral of Learning
1117 Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh 15260
United States

Topic areas

Details

Abstract: What determines what we see? A tidal wave of recent research alleges that visual experience is 'penetrated' by higher-level cognitive states such as beliefs, desires, emotions, intentions, and linguistic abilities. There is a growing consensus that such effects are ubiquitous, and even that the distinction between seeing and thinking may itself be unsustainable. I argue otherwise: There is in fact no compelling evidence for such top-down effects of cognition on perception, or “cognitive penetrability”. I will present several case studies of empirically anchored 'pitfalls' that recast such evidence, in each case showing how alleged top-down effects on perception not only can be explained by alternative factors, but in fact are explained by such factors. The discovery of substantive top-down effects of cognition on perception remains a revolutionary possibility for our understanding of how the mind is organized; but without addressing these pitfalls, no empirical report will license such exciting conclusions.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)

Reminders

Registration

No

Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

Will you attend this event?


Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.