Philosophical Studies 165 (1):167-175 (2013)
Several psychological experiments have suggested that concepts can influence perceived color (e.g., Delk and Fillenbaum in Am J Psychol 78(2):290–293, 1965, Hansen et al. in Nat Neurosci 9(11):1367–1368, 2006, Olkkonen et al. in J Vis 8(5):1–16, 2008). Observers tend to assign typical colors to objects even when the objects do not have those colors. Recently, these findings were used to argue that perceptual experience is cognitively penetrable (Macpherson 2012). This interpretation of the experiments has far-reaching consequences: it implies that the way we think of objects determines how we see them, thus threatening the role of perception in justifying beliefs. In this paper, I show that the psychological findings can be accounted for without admitting cognitive penetrability. An underestimated but key feature of the experiments is that observers had to judge colors in borderline cases, in conditions of reduced acuity, or on the basis of color-concepts instead of matching. Such judgments are sensitive to the form of bias that Tversky and Kahneman (Science 185:1124–1131, 1974) have termed ‘anchoring’. Adopting a suggestion from Raffman (Philos Rev 103(1):41–74, 1994), I argue that the way subjects in the experiments think of the objects could affect their color judgments without altering their color experiences.
|Keywords||Cognitive penetrability Color Perceptual judgments Borderline judgments Vagueness|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases.Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic & Amos Tversky (eds.) - 1982 - Cambridge University Press.
Cognitive Penetration of Colour Experience: Rethinking the Issue in Light of an Indirect Mechanism.Fiona Macpherson - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):24-62.
Citations of this work BETA
The Cognitive Impenetrability of the Content of Early Vision is a Necessary and Sufficient Condition for Purely Nonconceptual Content.Athanassios Raftopoulos - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology (5):1-20.
Nonconceptualism and the Cognitive Impenetrability of Early Vision.Josefa Toribio - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (5):621-642.
The Cognitive Impenetrability of the Content of Early Vision is a Necessary and Sufficient Condition for Purely Nonconceptual Content.Athanassios Raftopoulos - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (5):601-620.
Revisiting the Empirical Case Against Perceptual Modularity.Farid Masrour, Gregory Nirshberg, Michael Schon, Jason Leardi & Emily Barrett - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
Seeing and Thinking: Foundational Issues and Empirical Horizons.Chaz Firestone & Brian J. Scholl - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39.
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