A Defense of Cognitive Penetration and the Face-Race Lightness Illusion

Philosophical Psychology 1:1-28 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Cognitive Penetration holds that cognitive states and processes, specifically propositional attitudes (e.g., beliefs), sometimes directly impact features of perceptual experiences (e.g., the coloring of an object). In contrast, more traditional views hold that propositional attitudes do not directly impact perceptual experiences, but rather are only involved in interpreting or judging these experiences. Understandably, Cognitive Penetration is controversial and has been criticized on both theoretical and empirical grounds. I focus on defending it from the latter kind of objection and in doing so, highlight important features of Cognitive Penetration mechanisms and effects. I first sketch promising criteria for Cognitive Penetration and then address widespread Replication and Demonstration worries about purported instances of it. Next, I present one of the most compelling Cognitive Penetration studies and address specific objections against it and others. I demonstrate that each of these objections misunderstands important features of either Cognitive Penetration mechanisms or the specific studies to which they are applied. Ultimately, I conclude that multiple key studies are not undermined by these objections and con- tinue to provide support for Cognitive Penetration. Correcting these misunderstandings bolsters empirical support for Cognitive Penetration and contributes to a better understand- ing of the mechanisms involved in perceptual processing.

Similar books and articles

When is cognitive penetration a plausible explanation?Valtteri Arstila - 2018 - Consciousness and Cognition 59:78-86.
Cognitive penetration of early vision in face perception.Ariel S. Cecchi - 2018 - Consciousness and Cognition 63:254-266.
Is Low-Level Visual Experience Cognitively Penetrable?Dávid Bitter - 2014 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 9:1-26.
The real epistemic problem of cognitive penetration.Harmen Ghijsen - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1457-1475.
Is the Auditory System Cognitively Penetrable?Dimitria Electra Gatzia & Berit Brogaard - 2015 - Multisensory Integration: Brain, Body, and the World.
Cognitive Penetrability of Perception.Dustin Stokes - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (7):646-663.
Cognitive Penetration and Attention.Steven Gross - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology 8:1-12.


Added to PP

191 (#86,582)

6 months
191 (#7,593)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

Naïve realism, imagination and hallucination.Takuya Niikawa - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-21.

Add more citations