In Lorenzo Magnani & Claudia Casadio (eds.), Model Based Reasoning in Science and Technology. Logical, Epistemological, and Cognitive Issues. Springer Verlag (2006)

Gabriele Ferretti
Ruhr University Bochum
Philosophers and neuroscientists often suggest that we perceptually represent objects and their properties. However, they start from very different background assumptions when they use the term “perceptual representation”. On the one hand, sometimes philosophers do not need to properly take into consideration the empirical evidence concerning the neural states subserving the representational perceptual processes they are talking about. On the other hand, neuroscientists do not rely on a meticulous definition of “perceptual representation” when they talk about this empirical evidence that is supposed to show that we perceptually represent such and such properties. It seems that, on both sides, something is missed. My aim is to show that, in the light of empirical evidence from neuroscience, the case of action properties is a good candidate in order to properly talk of perceptually represented properties. My claim is that the neurophysiological states encoding action properties are perceptual processes and that these perceptual processes are representational processes. That is, in the case of those neurophysiological states involved in the detection of action properties, it is correct to speak of perceptual representational states, and hence, ipso facto, of perceptually represented properties. First, I describe a reasonable and widely agreed upon conception of perceptual representation in the philosophical literature. Then, I report evidence from vision and motor neuroscience concerning the perception of action properties, which is subserved by the ventro-dorsal stream, a portion of the dorsal visual system. Finally, I show that a strong connection can be found between the philosophical idea of perceptual representation I have reported before and the neuroscientific evidence concerning the activity of the ventro-dorsal stream, whose job is, as said, to detect action properties.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-38983-7_10
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Two Visual Systems in Molyneux Subjects.Gabriele Ferretti - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (4):643-679.
Anti-Intellectualist Motor Knowledge.Gabriele Ferretti - 2020 - Synthese 198 (11):10733-10763.

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