David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 19 (1):47-77 (2006)
'Epistemological constructivism' holds that vision is mediated by background preconceptions and is theory-laden. Hence, two persons with differing theoretical commitments see the world differently and they could agree on what they see only if they both espoused the same conceptual framework. This, in its turn, undermines the possibility of theory testing and choice on a common theory-neutral empirical basis. In this paper, I claim that the cognitive sciences suggest that a part of vision may be only indirectly penetrated by cognition in a way that does not threaten retrieval of information from a visual scene in a bottom-up way. That blocks the constructivist epistemological thesis. However, since spatial attention, which can be cognitively driven, seems to permeate all stages of visual processes, one is led to conclude that there is no part of vision immune to direct cognitive interference. Against this, I elaborate on the role of spatial attention and argue that it does influence vision in a top-down manner, but it does so only in an indirect way. I then argue that the existence of visual processes that are only indirectly penetrated by cognition undermines the epistemological conclusions of constructivism.
|Keywords||realism constructivism spatial attention cognitive penetrability of perception selective visual-attention cognitive-psychology object recognition perception brain awareness representations constructivist consciousness segmentation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
William P. Bechtel (2002). Aligning Multiple Research Techniques in Cognitive Neuroscience: Why Is It Important? Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S48-S58.
William P. Bechtel, Pete Mandik, Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.) (2001). Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader. Blackwell.
William P. Bechtel & Jennifer Mundale (1999). Multiple Realizability Revisited: Linking Cognitive and Neural States. Philosophy of Science 66 (2):175-207.
Jose Luis Bermudez (2003). Thinking Without Words. Oxford University Press.
Ned Block (1995). On a Confusion About a Function of Consciousness. Brain and Behavioral Sciences 18 (2):227-–247.
Citations of this work BETA
Athanasios Raftopoulos (2009). Reference, Perception, and Attention. Philosophical Studies 144 (3):339 - 360.
Athanassios Raftopoulos & Vincent C. Müller (2006). Nonconceptual Demonstrative Reference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):251-285.
Athanasios Raftopoulos (2008). Perceptual Systems and Realism. Synthese 164 (1):61 - 91.
Vincent C. Müller (2009). Symbol Grounding in Computational Systems: A Paradox of Intentions. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 19 (4):529-541.
Similar books and articles
Victor A. F. Lamme (2003). Why Visual Attention and Awareness Are Different. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7 (1):12-18.
Geoffrey F. Woodman & Steven J. Luck (2003). Dissociations Among Attention, Perception, and Awareness During Object-Substitution Masking. Psychological Science 14 (6):605-611.
Anne Giersch & Serge Caparos (2005). Focused Attention is Not Enough to Activate Discontinuities in Lines, but Scrutiny Is. Consciousness and Cognition 14 (3):613-632.
Shaun P. Vecera (2000). Toward a Biased Competition Account of Object-Based Segregation and Attention. Brain and Mind 1 (3):353-384.
T. Lambert (2003). Visual Orienting, Learning and Conscious Awareness. In Luis Jimenez (ed.), Attention and Implicit Learning. John Benjamins.
Philippe G. Schyns (1999). The Case for Cognitive Penetrability. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):394-395.
S. Grossberg (1999). The Link Between Brain Learning, Attention, and Consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 8 (1):1-44.
William Seeley & Aaron Kozbelt (2008). Art, Artists, and Perception: A Model for Premotor Contributions to Perceptual Analysis and Form Recognition. Philosophical Psychology 21 (2):149 – 171.
Howard Egeth (1999). The Cognitive Impenetrability of Visual Perception: Old Wine in a New Bottle. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):377-377.
Victor A. F. Lamme (2005). Independent Neural Definitions of Visual Awareness and Attention. In Athanassios Raftopoulos (ed.), Cognitive Penetrability of Perception: Attention, Action, Strategies, and Bottom-Up Constraints. Nova Science Publishers. 171-191.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads40 ( #47,418 of 1,140,255 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #142,694 of 1,140,255 )
How can I increase my downloads?