The Phenomenology of Person Perception

Recent discussions of social cognition in philosophy of mind and cognitive science have focused on the role of perception in facilitating social understanding. Some theorists, drawing upon phenomenological philosophy, argue that perception is our primary mechanism for understanding others. Call this the “direct perception” (DP) approach to social cognition. DP rests on the claim that, in most circumstances, we have direct perceptual contact with another person’s thoughts, emotions, intentions, etc., within their expressive behavior. DP proponents often frame their view as an alternative to Theory of Mind (ToM) explanations in philosophy and cognitive science. ToM explanations appeal to extra-perceptual mechanisms like theoretical inference and/or simulation to explain how we access another’s mental life and interpret and predict their behavior. From the perspective of DP, however, these extra-perceptual mechanisms are by and large unnecessary. Perception alone is generally “smart” (Gallagher 2008) enough to allow us to get on smoothly with others
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 17,815
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Shannon Spaulding (2015). On Direct Social Perception. Consciousness and Cognition 36:472-482.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Rebecca Copenhaver (2010). Thomas Reid on Acquired Perception. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):285-312.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #153,313 of 1,780,586 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #291,765 of 1,780,586 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.