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Profile: Athanassios Raftopoulos (University of Cyprus)
  1. A. Raftopoulos & J. Ziembekis (eds.) (forthcoming). Cognitive Effects on Perception: New Philosophical Perspectives.
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  2. Athanassios Raftopoulos (forthcoming). What Unilateral Visual Neglect Teaches Us About Perceptual Phenomenology. Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Studies on the syndrome called ‘unilateral visual or spatial neglect’ have been used by philosophers in discussions concerning perceptual phenomenology. Nanay (Philos Perspect 26:235–246, 2012), based on spatial neglects studies, argued that the property of being suitable for action (an action-property) is part of the perceptual phenomenology of neglect patients. In this paper, I argue that the studies on visual neglect conducted thus far do not support Nanay’s thesis that when patients succeed in detecting the neglected object, it’s action properties (...)
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  3. John Zeimbekis & Athanassios Raftopoulos (eds.) (forthcoming). Cognitive Penetrability. Oxford University Press.
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  4. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2014). Nonconceptual Content: A Reply to Toribio's “Nonconceptualism and the Cognitive Impenetrability of Early Vision”. Philosophical Psychology 27 (5):643-651.
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  5. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2013). Getting the World Right: Cognitive Maps and Pictures of Universals. [REVIEW] Metascience 22 (1):115-123.
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  6. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2013). The Cognitive Impenetrability of the Content of Early Vision is a Necessary and Sufficient Condition for Purely Nonconceptual Content. Philosophical Psychology (5):1-20.
    I elaborate on Pylyshyn's definition of the cognitive impenetrability (CI) of early vision, and draw on the role of concepts in perceptual processing, which links the problem of the CI or cognitive penetrability (CP) of early vision with the problem of the nonconceptual content (NCC) of perception. I explain, first, the sense in which the content of early vision is CI and I argue that if some content is CI, it is conceptually encapsulated, that is, it is NCC. Then, I (...)
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  7. Athanasios Raftopoulos (ed.) (2012). Perception, Realism and the Problem of Reference. Cambridge University Press.
    The chapters in the book address the problem of reference as it relates to perception and to debates about realism.
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  8. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2012). The New Science of Mind. Review of Metaphysics 65 (3):677-679.
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  9. Athanasios Raftopoulos (2011). Ambiguous Figures and Representationalism. Synthese 181 (3):489-514.
    Macpherson (Nous 40(1):82–117, 2006) argues that the square/regular diamond figure threatens representationalism, construed as the theory which holds that the phenomenal character is explained by the nonconceptual content of experience. Her argument is the claim that representationalism is committed to the thesis that differences in the experience of ambiguous figures, the gestalt switch, should be explained by differences in the NCC of perception of these figures. However, with respect to the square/regular diamond and some other ambiguous figure representationalism fails to (...)
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  10. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2010). Can Nonconceptual Content Be Stored in Visual Memory? Philosophical Psychology 23 (5):639-668.
  11. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2010). Cracks on the Mosaic Unity of Science. Metascience 19 (2):293-296.
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  12. Athanasios Raftopoulos (2009). Reference, Perception, and Attention. Philosophical Studies 144 (3):339 - 360.
    I examine John Campbell’s claim that the determination of the reference of a perceptual demonstrative requires conscious visual object-based selective attention. I argue that although Campbell’s claim to the effect that, first, a complex binding parameter is needed to establish the referent of a perceptual demonstrative, and, second, that this referent is determined independently of, and before, the application of sortals is correct, this binding parameter does not require object-based attention for its construction. If object-based attention were indeed required then (...)
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  13. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2009). Cognition and Perception: How Do Psychology and Neural Science Inform Philosophy? Mit Press.
    An argument that there are perceptual mechanisms that retrieve information in cognitively and conceptually unmediated ways and that this sheds light on various ...
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  14. Athanasios Raftopoulos (2008). Ambiguous Figures and Nonconceptual Content. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 42:179-187.
    Macpherson (2006) argues that the square/regular diamond figure threatens representationalism, which holds that the phenomenal character of experience is either identical, or supervenes on, the nonconceptual content of experience (NCC). Her argument is that representationalism is committed to the thesis that differences in the phenomenal experience of ambiguous figures, the gestalt switch, should be explained by differences in the NCC of perception of these figures. However, with respect to the square/regular diamond figure such differences in NCC do not explain the (...)
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  15. Athanasios Raftopoulos (2008). Perceptual Systems and Realism. Synthese 164 (1):61 - 91.
    Constructivism undermines realism by arguing that experience is mediated by concepts, and that there is no direct way to examine those aspects of objects that belong to them independently of our conceptualizations; perception is theory-laden. To defend realism one has to show first that perception relates us directly with the world without any intermediary conceptual framework. The result of this direct link is the nonconceptual content of experience. Second, one has to show that part of the nonconceptual content extracted from (...)
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  16. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2006). Defending Realism on the Proper Ground. Philosophical Psychology 19 (1):47-77.
    '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 (...)
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  17. Athanassios Raftopoulos & Vincent C. Müller (2006). Nonconceptual Demonstrative Reference. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):251-285.
    The paper argues that the reference of perceptual demonstratives is fixed in a causal nondescriptive way through the nonconceptual content of perception. That content consists first in spatiotemporal information establishing the existence of a separate persistent object retrieved from a visual scene by the perceptual object segmentation processes that open an object-file for that object. Nonconceptual content also consists in other transducable information, that is, information that is retrieved directly in a bottom-up way from the scene (motion, shape, etc). The (...)
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  18. Athanassios Raftopoulos & Vincent C. Müller (2006). The Phenomenal Content of Experience. Mind and Language 21 (2):187-219.
    We discuss in some length evidence from the cognitive science suggesting that the representations of objects based on spatiotemporal information and featural information retrieved bottomup from a visual scene precede representations of objects that include conceptual information. We argue that a distinction can be drawn between representations with conceptual and nonconceptual content. The distinction is based on perceptual mechanisms that retrieve information in conceptually unmediated ways. The representational contents of the states induced by these mechanisms that are available to a (...)
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  19. Athanasios Raftopoulos, Niki Kalyfommatou & Constantinos P. Constantinou (2005). The Properties and the Nature of Light: The Study of Newton's Work and the Teaching of Optics. Science and Education 14 (7-8):649-673.
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  20. Athanassios Raftopoulos (ed.) (2005). Cognitive Penetrabiity of Perception: Attention, Strategies and Bottom-Up Constraints. New York: Nova Science.
    The chapters in this book address directly the issue of the cognitive penetrability of perception.
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  21. Athanassios Raftopoulos (ed.) (2005). Cognitive Penetrability of Perception: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Nova Science.
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  22. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2004). Two Types of Object Representations in the Brain, One Nondescriptive Process of Reference Fixing. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (1):47-48.
    I comment on two problems in Glover's account. First, semantic representations are not always available to awareness. Second, some functional properties, the affordances of objects, should be encoded in the dorsal system. Then I argue that the existence of Glover's two types of representations is supported by studies on “object-centered” attention. Furthermore, it foreshadows a nondescriptive causal reference fixing process.
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  23. A. Raftopoulos (2003). Cartesian Analysis and Synthesis. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):265-308.
    This paper aims to provide an explication of the meaning of 'analysis' and 'synthesis' in Descartes' writings. In the first part I claim that Descartes' method is entirely captured by the term 'analysis', and that it is a method of theory elaboration that fuses the modern methods of discovery and confirmation in one enterprise. I discuss Descartes' methodological writings, assess their continuity and coherence, and I address the major shortcoming of previous interpretations of Cartesian methodology. I also discuss the Cartesian (...)
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  24. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2001). Is Perception Informationally Encapsulated? The Issue of the Theory‐Ladenness of Perception. Cognitive Science 25 (3):423-451.
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  25. Athanassios Raftopoulos (2001). Reentrant Neural Pathways and the Theory-Ladenness of Perception. Philosophy of Science 3 (September):S187-S199.
    In this paper I argue for the cognitive impenetrability of perception by undermining the argument from reentrant pathways. To do that I will adduce psychological and neuropsychological evidence showing that (a) early vision processing is not affected by our knowledge about specific objects and events, and (b) that the role of the descending pathways is to enable the early-vision processing modules to participate in higher-level visual or cognitive functions. My thesis is that a part of observation, which I will call (...)
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  26. Athanassios Raftopoulos (1999). Newton's Experimental Proofs as Eliminative Reasoning. Erkenntnis 50 (1):91-121.
    In this paper I discuss Newton's first optical paper. My aim is to examine the type of argument which Newton uses in order to convince his readers of the truth of his theory of colors. My claim is that this argument is an induction by elimination, and that the Newtonian method of justification is a kind of generative justification, a term due to T. Nickles. To achieve my aim I analyze in some detail the arguments in Newton's first optical paper, (...)
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  27. Athanasse Raftopoulos (1996). Descartes' Proof of the Essence of Matter and the Cartesian Scientific System. Journal of Philosophical Research 21:209-229.
    It has been a traditional claim that Descartes sought to construct a deductive scientific system in which everything could be deduced from a priori truths. I shall call this thesis strong a priorism. In view of the overwhelming amount of evidence that Descartes thought experience to be a necessary part of his method, the traditional interpretation has undergone several transformations. One interpretation resulting from this transformation holds that Descartes sought to prove the first principles of natural philosophy in an a (...)
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  28. Athanasse Raftopoulos (1995). Was Cartesian Science Ever Meant to Be a Priori? A Comment on Hatfield. Philosophy of Science 62 (1):150-160.
    In a recent article G. Hatfield claims that Descartes for a certain time thought a purely a priori science to be possible. Hatfield's evidence consists of his reading of the Cartesian method in the Regulae and of a letter to Mersenne, written in May 1632. I argue that Hatfield misinterprets the Cartesian method and Descartes' claim in the letter to Mersenne. I first show that the latter does not argue for an a priori science. Then, I show that the method (...)
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