In this study, we investigated whether control of the conflict between incongruent heuristic and analytical answer options in a reasoning task is modulated by the presence of conflict on previous trials. In two experiments, we found that the incongruency of the previous trial has a significant effect on the control exhibited on the current trial. Our data also showed that this adaptation effect is modulated by the incongruency of the previous series of trials. These results demonstrate the same control adaptation (...) effects for a reasoning task as observed for standard response interference tasks. Coinciding control effects in the two research areas suggest that cognitive control might be an important mechanism underlying performance on reasoning tasks. Based on these results we argue that the study of cognitive control in reasoning could potentially facilitate the refinement of empirical predictions and provide a new tool to explore the exertion of top-down control in human thinking. (shrink)
Individuals’ propensity not to override the first answer that comes to mind is thought to be a crucial cause behind many failures in reasoning. In the present study, we aimed to explore the strategies used and the abilities employed when individuals solve the cognitive reflection test, the most widely used measure of this tendency. Alongside individual differences measures, protocol analysis was employed to unfold the steps of the reasoning process in solving the CRT. This exploration revealed that there are several (...) ways people solve or fail the test. Importantly, 77% of the cases in which reasoners gave the correct final answer in our protocol analysis, they started their response with the correct answer or with a line of thought which led to the correct answer. We also found that 39% of the incorrect responders reflected on their first response. The findings indicate that the suppression of the first answer may not be the only crucial feature of reflectivity in the CRT and that the lack of relevant knowledge is a prominent cause of the reasoning errors. Additionally, we confirmed that the CRT is a multi-faceted construct: both numeracy and reflectivity account for performance. The results can help to better apprehend the “whys and whens” of the decision errors in heuristics and biases tasks and to further refine existing explanatory models. (shrink)
The authors’ aim is to bring to the attention of readers the inadequacies of care for people in Hungary who are terminally ill. They believe that both objective and subjective factors cause these inadequacies. Most of these factors arise from moral dilemmas that could be eased or even solved if ethics education had a much more prominent place in the nursing curriculum. Even if nurses would not become automatically better persons morally, a much wider knowledge of medical/nursing ethics could significantly (...) improve nursing care both before and at the end of life. Although the article is also critical of the nursing care provided, it is not its purpose to make any generalizations. The study utilized selected passages from essays written by 76 practicing nurses on their personal experience of ethical dilemmas in their work environment, and a questionnaire administered to 250 students (registered nurses and health care students) studying for a college degree. This article is written by two authors who have formed an unusal alliance: a registered nurse with 29 years’ experience of bedside nursing, but who is currently a teacher of nursing ethics at a local health college, and a lawyer turned bioethicist. (shrink)
Györgi Pálfi’s Taxidermia is a landmark work of postsocialist cinema. The film is a study in violent contrasts. It is viscerallycharged and icily allegorical; intimately physical in its exploration ofmasculine desire and bodily disgust, and sardonically distanced in its satiricalportrayal of the successive social and political regimes that dominatedHungary over the course of the twentieth century. On the one hand,Taxidermia is a highly controlled, severely formalist film. In its nearlyinhuman detachment, and its rigorously schematic organization, it is assevere as anything (...) by Kubrick. Yet at the same time, it is filled withuncomfortable and unpredictable details; and it insistently focuses onexcesses of the flesh in a way that rivals early Cronenberg. In what follows, Iconsider Taxidermia in the light of these contradictory extremes. (shrink)
In this article I explore the concept of originality from several viewpoints. Within the world of printmaking, I show that while print dealers may draw attention to originality in order to enhance economic value, artists emphasize the aesthetic value of a work based on the freedom to express artistic intent and to experiment with techniques of the medium. Within the worlds of philosophy and to some extent, psychology, “originality” has been misleadingly tied to the notions of “creativity” and “genius,” thereby (...) replicating a cultural bias that links an artist to particular mental processes that are unnecessarily exclusive. An experiential account of creativity like the one recently advanced by Bence Nanay not only disadvantages those artists whose lived experiences reflect fewer social opportunities than their counterparts, but also invokes a concept of luck that undermines the role of originality within an artwork's overall aesthetic value. (shrink)
What mediates between sensory input and motor output? What makes it possible to act on what you perceive? Bence Nanay argues that pragmatic representations provide the perceptual guidance for performing actions. They play a key role in our mental lives, and help explain why the majority of our mental processes are very similar to those of animals.
A symposium on Bence Nanay, Aesthetics as Philosophy of Art and Murray Smith, Film, Art, and the Third Culture. Commentaries on the two books by two critics, followed by responses by the two book authors.
Bence Nanay introduces aesthetics, a branch of philosophy that explores the nature of art, beauty, and taste. Looking beyond traditional artistic experiences, he defends the topic from accusations of elitism, and shows how more everyday experiences such as the pleasure in a soft fabric or falling leaves can become the subject of aesthetics.
This book provides an up-to-date and accessible overview of the hottest and most influential contemporary debates in philosophy of perception, written especially for this volume by many of the most important philosophers of the field. The book addresses the following key questions: Can perception be unconscious? What is the relation between perception and attention? What properties can we perceive? Are perceptual states representations? How is vision different from the other sense modalities? How do these sense modalities interact with one another? (...) Contributors are Ned Block, Berit Brogaard, Alex Byrne, Robert Kentridge, John Kulvicki, Heather Logue, Mohan Matthen, Bence Nanay, Matt Nudds, Casey O’Callaghan, Adam Pautz, Ian Phillips, Susanna Siegel and Wayne Wu. (shrink)
When we see an object, we also represent those parts of it that are not visible. The question is how we represent them: this is the problem of amodal perception. I will consider three possible accounts: (a) we see them, (b) we have non-perceptual beliefs about them and (c) we have immediate perceptual access to them, and point out that all of these views face both empirical and conceptual objections. I suggest and defend a fourth account, according to which we (...) represent the occluded parts of perceived objects by means of mental imagery. This conclusion could be thought of as a (weak) version of the Strawsonian dictum, according to which “imagination is a necessary ingredient of perception itself”. (shrink)
Do we (sometimes) perceive apples as edible? One could argue that it is just a manner of speaking to say so: we do not really see an object as edible, we see it as having certain shape, size and color and we only infer on the basis of these properties that it is. I argue that we do indeed see objects as edible, and do not just believe that they are. My argument proceeds in two steps. First, I point out (...) that Susanna Siegel's influential argument in favor of the claim that we represent sortal properties perceptually does not work. Second, I argue that we can fix this argument if we replace the sortal property in question with the property of being edible, climbable or Q-able in general. (shrink)
The problem of amodal perception is the problem of how we represent features of perceived objects that are occluded or otherwise hidden from us. Bence Nanay (2010) has recently proposed that we amodally perceive an object's occluded features by imaginatively projecting them into the relevant regions of visual egocentric space. In this paper, I argue that amodal perception is not a single, unitary capacity. Drawing appropriate distinctions reveals amodal perception to be characterized not only by mental imagery, as Nanay (...) suggests, but also by genuinely visual representations as well as beliefs. I conclude with some brief remarks on the role of object-directed bodily action in conferring a sense of unseen presence on an object's occluded features. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that the phenomenal similarity between perceiving and visualizing can be explained by the similarity between the structure of the content of these two different mental states. And this puts important constraints on how we should think about perceptual content and the content of mental imagery.
I argue that perceptual content is always affected by the allocation of one’s attention. Perception attributes determinable and determinate properties to the perceived scene. Attention makes (or tries to make) our perceptual attribution of properties more determinate. Hence, a change in our attention changes the determinacy of the properties attributed to the perceived scene.
Abstract: When I throw a ball at you, do you see it as catch-able? Do we perceive objects as edible, climbable or Q-able in general? One could argue that it is just a manner of speaking to say so: we do not really see an object as edible, we only infer on the basis of its other properties that it is. I argue that whether or not an object is edible or climbable is indeed represented perceptually: we see objects as (...) edible, and do not just believe that they are. My argument proceeds in two steps. First, I argue that in order to perform an action Q with respect to an object, we need to represent this object as Q-able and, second, I argue that we represent objects as having these properties perceptually. (shrink)
Relationalism holds that perceptual experiences are relations between subjects and perceived objects. But much evidence suggests that perceptual states can be unconscious. We argue here that unconscious perception raises difficulties for relationalism. Relationalists would seem to have three options. First, they may deny that there is unconscious perception or question whether we have sufficient evidence to posit it. Second, they may allow for unconscious perception but deny that the relationalist analysis applies to it. Third, they may offer a relationalist explanation (...) of unconscious perception. We argue that each of these strategies is questionable. (shrink)
Hallucination is a big deal in contemporary philosophy of perception. The main reason for this is that the way hallucination is treated marks an important stance in one of the most hotly contested debates in this subdiscipline: the debate between 'relationalists' and 'representationalists'. I argue that if we take hallucinations to be a form of mental imagery, then we have a very straightforward way of arguing against disjunctivism: if hallucination is a form of mental imagery and if mental imagery and (...) perception have some substantive common denominator, then a fortiori, perception and hallucination will also have a substantive common denominator. (shrink)
The function of a trait token is usually defined in terms of some properties of other (past, present, future) tokens of the same trait type. I argue that this strategy is problematic, as trait types are (at least partly) individuated by their functional properties, which would lead to circularity. In order to avoid this problem, I suggest a way to define the function of a trait token in terms of the properties of the very same trait token. To able to (...) allow for the possibility of malfunctioning, some of these properties need to be modal ones: a function of a trait is to do F just in case its doing F would contribute to the inclusive fitness of the organism whose trait it is. Function attributions have modal force. Finally, I explore whether and how this theory of biological function could be modified to cover artifact function. (shrink)
Amodal completion is the representation of occluded parts of perceived objects. We argue for the following three claims: First, at least some amodal completion-involved experiences can ground knowledge about the occluded portions of perceived objects. Second, at least some instances of amodal completion-grounded knowledge are not sensitive, that is, it is not the case that in the nearest worlds in which the relevant claim is false, that claim is not believed true. Third, at least some instances of amodal completion-grounded knowledge (...) are not safe, that is, it is not the case that in all or nearly all near worlds where the relevant claim is believed true, that claim is in fact true. Thus, certain instances of amodal completion-grounded knowledge refute both the view that knowledge is necessarily sensitive and the view that knowledge is necessarily safe. (shrink)
Bency Nanay brings the discussion of aesthetics and perception together, to explore how many influential debates in aesthetics look very different, and may be easier to tackle, if we clarify the assumptions they make about perception and about experiences in general. He focuses on the concept of attention and the ways in which the distinction between distributed and focused attention can help us re-evaluate various key concepts and debates in aesthetics. Sometimes our attention is distributed in an unusual way: we (...) are attending to one perceptual object but our attention is distributed across its various properties. But in other aesthetic contexts our attention is not at all distributed but very much focused. The book closes with an analysis of some paradigmatic aesthetic phenomena in which this is the case: identification and engagement with fictional characters. It argues that the conflict and interplay between distributed and focused attention is an important feature of many artworks. (shrink)
There are two very different ways of thinking about perception. According to representationalism, perceptual states are representations: they represent the world as being a certain way. They have content, which may or may not be different from the content of beliefs. They represent objects as having properties, sometimes veridically, sometimes not. According to relationalism, perception is a relation between the agent and the perceived object. Perceived objects are literally constituents of our perceptual states and not of the contents thereof. Perceptual (...) states are not representations. My aim is to argue that if we frame this debate as a debate about the individuation of perceptual states, rather than the nature of perception, then we can reconcile these two seemingly conflicting ways of thinking about perception. (shrink)
The psychological mechanism of decision-making has traditionally been modeled with the help of belief-desire psychology: the agent has some desires (or other pro-attitudes) and some background beliefs and deciding between two possible actions is a matter of comparing the probability of the satisfaction of these desires given the background beliefs in the case of the performance of each action. There is a wealth of recent empirical findings about how we actually make decisions that seems to be in conflict with this (...) picture. My aim is to outline an alternative model that is consistent with these empirical findings. This alternative model emphasizes the role imagination plays in our decisions: when we decide between two possible actions, we imagine ourselves in the situation that we imagine to be the outcome of these two actions and then compare these two imaginings. (shrink)
While there has been a lot of discussion of picture perception both in perceptual psychology and in philosophy, these discussions are driven by very different background assumptions. Nonetheless, it would be mutually beneficial to arrive at an understanding of picture perception that is informed by both the philosophers’ and the psychologists’ story. The aim of this paper is exactly this: to give an account of picture perception that is valid both as a philosophical and as a psychological account. I argue (...) that seeing trompe l’oeil paintings is, just as some philosophers suggested, different from other cases of picture perception. Further, the way our perceptual system functions when seeing trompe l’oeil paintings could be an important piece of the psychological explanation of perceiving pictures. (shrink)
Influential work on reasoning and decision-making has popularised the idea that sound reasoning requires correction of fast, intuitive thought processes by slower and more demanding deliberation. We present seven studies that question this corrective view of human thinking. We focused on the very problem that has been widely featured as the paradigmatic illustration of the corrective view, the well-known bat-and-ball problem. A two-response paradigm in which people were required to give an initial response under time pressure and cognitive load allowed (...) us to identify the presumed intuitive response that preceded the final response given after deliberation. Across our studies, we observe that correct final responses are often non-corrective in nature. Many reasoners who manage to answer the bat-and-ball problem correctly after deliberation already solved it correctly when they reasoned under conditions that minimised deliberation in the initial response phase. This suggests that sound bat-and-ball... (shrink)
In action theory, emotional actions are standardly treated as exceptions—cases where the “normal” springs of action are not functioning properly. My aim here is to argue that this is not so. We have plenty of evidence—beautifully brought together in the present special issue—that emotions play a crucial and often constitutive role in all the important phases of action preparation and initiation. Most of our actions are less stupid than, say, Zidane’s head-butt, but all of our actions have emotional components. Actions (...) can be more or less emotional, but they are never completely nonemotional. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to give a new account of the way we exercise our attention in some paradigmatic cases of aesthetic experience. I treat aesthetic experience as a specific kind of experience and like in the case of other kinds of experiences, attention plays an important role in determining its phenomenal character. I argue that an important feature of at least some of our aesthetic experiences is that we exercise our attention in a specific, distributed, manner: our (...) attention is focused on one perceptual object, but it is distributed among the various properties of this object. I argue that this way of exercising one’s attention is very different from the way we attend most of the time and it fits very well with some important features of paradigmatic examples of aesthetic experience. (shrink)
: When I throw a ball at you, do you see it as catch‐able? Do we perceive objects as edible, climbable or Q‐able in general? One could argue that it is just a manner of speaking to say so: we do not really see an object as edible, we only infer on the basis of its other properties that it is. I argue that whether or not an object is edible or climbable is indeed represented perceptually: we see objects as (...) edible, and do not just believe that they are. My argument proceeds in two steps. First, I argue that in order to perform an action Q with respect to an object, we need to represent this object as Q‐able and, second, I argue that we represent objects as having these properties perceptually. (shrink)
We argue that recent empirical findings and theoretical models shed new light on the nature of attention. According to the resulting amplification view, attentional phenomena can be unified at the neural level as the consequence of the amplification of certain input signals of attention-independent perceptual computations. This way of identifying the core realizer of attention evades standard criticisms often raised against sub-personal accounts of attention. Moreover, this approach also reframes our thinking about the function of attention by shifting the focus (...) from the function of selection to the function of amplification. (shrink)