Perceptual expansion under cognitive guidance: Lessons from language processing

Mind and Language 32 (5):564-578 (2017)
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This paper aims to provide an empirically informed sketch of how our perceptual capacities can interact with cognitive processes to give rise to new perceptual attributives. In section 1, I present ongoing debates about the reach of perception and direct focus toward arguments offered in recent work by Tyler Burge and Ned Block. In section 2, I draw on empirical evidence relating to language processing to argue against the claim that we have no acquired, culture-specific, high-level perceptual attributives. In section 3, I turn to the cognitive dimension; I outline how cognitive procedures can be involved in the acquisition of what ought to, nonetheless, be recognized as genuinely perceptual capacities. Finally, in section 4, I argue for the importance of distinguishing these conclusions from more familiar and radical claims about rampant “cognitive penetration” into the perceptual domain.



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Endre Begby
Simon Fraser University

References found in this work

Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The Modularity of Mind.Robert Cummins & Jerry Fodor - 1983 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):101.
Seeing‐As in the Light of Vision Science.Ned Block - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):560-572.
Naturalizing the Mind.Fred Dretske - 1995 - Philosophy 72 (279):150-154.

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