Scholars have extensively debated the family’s place within liberalism, generally, and specific attention and critique has been given to the family in Rawls’ work. What has received less focus are the requirements of parents in a Rawlsian polity and, further, what those requirements might imply for the one case where states explicitly regulate the process of becoming parents: adoption. This paper seeks to discover what might be required of parents, adoptive or otherwise, in a Rawlsian social contract state. Second, it (...) considers adoptive parent selection in light of these requirements as well as Rawls’ arguments regarding merit and fair equality of opportunity. Finally, it considers what such a merit-based selection of adoptive parents implies for the disputed rights of same-sex couples to adopt children. Further, because the question of merit in this case will hinge upon what it means to be a “fit parent,” it also draws upon relevant empirical social science studies regarding gay and lesbian parents. The paper, then, evaluates both the theoretical and empirical validity of generalized claims that same-sex couples are less fit to be parents than are heterosexual couples. (shrink)
Ted Warfield has argued that if Ockhamism and Molinism offer different responses to the problems of foreknowledge and prophecy, it is the Molinist who is in trouble. I show here that this is not so – indeed, things may be quite the reverse.
This book explores the constraints which justice imposes on immigration policy. Like liberal nationalists, Ryan Pevnick argues that citizens have special claims to the institutions of their states. However, the source of these special claims is located in the citizenry's ownership of state institutions rather than in a shared national identity. Citizens contribute to the construction and maintenance of institutions, and as a result they have special claims to these institutions and a limited right to exclude outsiders. Pevnick shows (...) that the resulting view justifies a set of policies - including support for certain types of guest worker programs - which is distinct from those supported by either liberal nationalists or advocates of open borders. His book provides a framework for considering a number of connected topics including issues related to self-determination, the scope of distributive justice and the significance of shared national identity. (shrink)
Ryan Wasserman explores a range of fascinating puzzles raised by the possibility of time travel, with entertaining examples from physics, science fiction, and popular culture, and he draws out their implications for our understanding of time, tense, freedom, fatalism, causation, counterfactuals, laws of nature, persistence, change, and mereology.
Very diverse societies pose real problems for Rawlsian models of public reason. This is for two reasons: first, public reason is unable accommodate diverse perspectives in determining a regulative ideal. Second, regulative ideals are unable to respond to social change. While models based on public reason focus on the justification of principles, this book suggests that we need to orient our normative theories more toward discovery and experimentation. The book develops a unique approach to social contract theory that focuses on (...) diverse perspectives. It offers a new moral stance that author Ryan Muldoon calls, "The View From Everywhere," which allows for substantive, fundamental moral disagreement. This stance is used to develop a bargaining model in which agents can cooperate despite seeing different perspectives. Rather than arguing for an ideal contract or particular principles of justice, Muldoon outlines a procedure for iterated revisions to the rules of a social contract. It expands Mill's conception of experiments in living to help form a foundational principle for social contract theory. By embracing this kind of experimentation, we move away from a conception of justice as an end state, and toward a conception of justice as a trajectory. (shrink)
In this article, robust evidence is provided showing that an individual’s moral character can contribute to the aesthetic quality of their appearance, as well as being beautiful or ugly itself. It is argued that this evidence supports two main conclusions. First, moral beauty and ugliness reside on the inside, and beauty and ugliness are not perception-dependent as a result; and, second, aesthetic perception is affected by moral information, and thus moral beauty and ugliness are on the outside as well.
I offer the first sustained defence of the claim that ugliness is constituted by the disposition to disgust. I advance three main lines of argument in support of this thesis. First, ugliness and disgustingness tend to lie in the same kinds of things and properties (the argument from ostensions). Second, the thesis is better placed than all existing accounts to accommodate the following facts: ugliness is narrowly and systematically distributed in a heterogenous set of things, ugliness is sometimes enjoyed, and (...) ugliness sits opposed to beauty across a neutral midpoint (the argument from proposed intensions). And third, ugliness and disgustingness function in the same way in both giving rise to representations of contamination (the argument from the law of contagion). In making these arguments, I show why prominent objections to the thesis do not succeed, cast light on some of the artistic functions of ugliness, and, in addition, demonstrate why a dispositional account of disgustingness is correct, and present a novel problem for warrant-based accounts of disgustingness (the ‘too many reasons’ problem). (shrink)
People are unable to report how they decide whether to move backwards or forwards to catch a ball. When asked to imagine how their angle of elevation of gaze would change when they caught a ball, most people are unable to describe what happens although their interception strategy is based on controlling changes in this angle. Just after catching a ball, many people are unable to recognise a description of how their angle of gaze changed during the catch. Some people (...) confidently choose incorrect descriptions that would guarantee failure of interception demonstrating unconscious knowledge co-existing with systematically different conscious beliefs. Where simple solutions to important evolutionary problems exist, unconscious perception needs to be impervious to conscious beliefs. (shrink)
From an evolutionary standpoint, a default presumption is that true beliefs are adaptive and misbeliefs maladaptive. But if humans are biologically engineered to appraise the world accurately and to form true beliefs, how are we to explain the routine exceptions to this rule? How can we account for mistaken beliefs, bizarre delusions, and instances of self-deception? We explore this question in some detail. We begin by articulating a distinction between two general types of misbelief: those resulting from a breakdown in (...) the normal functioning of the belief formation system (e.g., delusions) and those arising in the normal course of that system's operations (e.g., beliefs based on incomplete or inaccurate information). The former are instances of biological dysfunction or pathology, reflecting limitations of evolutionary design. Although the latter category includes undesirable (but tolerable) by-products of limited design, our quarry is a contentious subclass of this category: misbeliefs best conceived as design features. Such misbeliefs, unlike occasional lucky falsehoods, would have been systematically adaptive in the evolutionary past. Such misbeliefs, furthermore, would not be reducible to judicious action policies. Finally, such misbeliefs would have been adaptive in themselves, constituting more than mere by-products of adaptively biased misbelief-producing systems. We explore a range of potential candidates for evolved misbelief, and conclude that, of those surveyed, only positive illusions meet our criteria. (shrink)
Business and Economic textbooks warn against committing the Sunk Cost Fallacy: you, rationally, shouldn't let unrecoverable costs influence your current decisions. In this paper, I argue that this isn't, in general, correct. Sometimes it's perfectly reasonable to wish to carry on with a project because of the resources you've already sunk into it. The reason? Given that we're social creatures, it's not unreasonable to care about wanting to act in such a way so that a plausible story can be told (...) about you according to which your diachronic behavior doesn't reveal that you've suffered, what I will call, diachronic misfortune. Acting so as to hide that you've suffered diachronic misfortune involves striving to make yourself easily understood while disguising any shortcomings that might damage your reputation as a desirable teammate. And making yourself easily understood to others while hiding your flaws will, sometimes, put pressure on you to honor sunk costs. (shrink)
Invaluable wisdom on living a good life from the founder of modern economics Adam Smith is best known today as the founder of modern economics, but he was also an uncommonly brilliant philosopher who was especially interested in the perennial question of how to live a good life. Our Great Purpose is a short and illuminating guide to Smith's incomparable wisdom on how to live well, written by one of today's leading Smith scholars. In this inspiring and entertaining book, (...) class='Hi'>Ryan Patrick Hanley describes Smith's vision of "the excellent and praiseworthy character," and draws on the philosopher's writings to show how each of us can go about developing one. For Smith, an excellent character is distinguished by qualities such as prudence, self-command, justice, and benevolence—virtues that have been extolled since antiquity. Yet Smith wrote not for the ancient polis but for the world of market society—our world—which rewards self-interest more than virtue. Hanley shows how Smith set forth a vision of the worthy life that is uniquely suited to us today. Full of invaluable insights on topics ranging from happiness and moderation to love and friendship, Our Great Purpose enables modern readers to see Smith in an entirely new light—and along the way, learn what it truly means to live a good life. (shrink)
In this article, an account of the architecture of the cognitive contamination system is offered, according to which the contamination system can generate contamination representations in circumstances that do not satisfy the norms of contamination, including in cases of mere visual contact with disgusting objects. It is argued that this architecture is important for explaining the content, logic, distribution, and persistence of maternal impression beliefs—according to which foetal defects are caused by the pregnant mother’s experiences and actions—which in turn provide (...) important evidence of the architecture of the cognitive contamination system. (shrink)
In his thought-provoking piece, ‘Expressivism at the Beginning and End of Life’, Philip Reed contrasts the application of the expressivist objection to the use of reproductive technologies with its application to interventions that bring about death. In the process of supporting his comparative conclusion, that ‘expressivism at the end of life is a much greater concern than at the beginning’, he makes some interesting observations and offers some convincing arguments. Further examination, however, shows that his arguments actually support conclusions (...) far beyond the modest one he intends to draw. The absurdity of these conclusions can be used to identify the flaws in Reed’s argument. Reed summarises the expressivist objection in the context of physician-assisted suicide as follows: > When we allow PAS for individuals who are terminally ill or facing some severe disease or disability, we send a message of disrespect to all individuals who face such adversities in that we imply that they are inferior or their lives are not worth living. Analogous arguments have been made about decisions to use reproductive technology to prevent the birth of people with disabilities. Reed describes a common rebuttal to the …. (shrink)
In epistemology and the philosophy of science, there has been an increasing interest in the social aspects of belief acquisition. In particular, there has been a focus on the division of cognitive labor in science. This essay explores several different models of the division of cognitive labor, with particular focus on Kitcher, Strevens, Weisberg and Muldoon, and Zollman. The essay then shows how many of the benefits of the division of cognitive labor flow from leveraging agent diversity. The essay concludes (...) by examining the benefits and burdens of diversity, particularly in the evaluative diversity that can be found in interdisicplinary science. (shrink)
Scientific research is almost always conducted by communities of scientists of varying size and complexity. Such communities are effective, in part, because they divide their cognitive labor: not every scientist works on the same project. Philip Kitcher and Michael Strevens have pioneered efforts to understand this division of cognitive labor by proposing models of how scientists make decisions about which project to work on. For such models to be useful, they must be simple enough for us to understand their dynamics, (...) but faithful enough to reality that we can use them to analyze real scientific communities. To satisfy the first requirement, we must employ idealizations to simplify the model. The second requirement demands that these idealizations not be so extreme that we lose the ability to describe real-world phenomena. This paper investigates the status of the assumptions that Kitcher and Strevens make in their models, by first inquiring whether they are reasonable representations of reality, and then by checking the models' robustness against weakenings of these assumptions. To do this, we first argue against the reality of the assumptions, and then develop a series of agent-based simulations to systematically test their effects on model outcomes. We find that the models are not robust against weakenings of these idealizations. In fact we find that under certain conditions, this can lead to the model predicting outcomes that are qualitatively opposite of the original model outcomes. (shrink)
: In recent literature supporting a hybrid view between metaethical cognitivism and noncognitivist expressivism, much has been made of an analogy between moral terms and pejoratives. The analogy is based on the plausible idea that pejorative slurs are used to express both a descriptive belief and a negative attitude. The analogy looks promising insofar as it encourages the kinds of features we should want from a hybrid expressivist view for moral language. But the analogy between moral terms and pejorative slurs (...) is also problematic. In this paper, I argue for two main ways in which we should distinguish between two different types of pejorative terms: slurs, on the one hand, and what I call general pejorative terms, on the other. I examine the problems with the analogy between slurs and moral terms and conclude that general pejorative terms like ‘jerk’ are a better candidate on which to model the potential dual-use behavior of moral terms. So if hybrid theorists are looking for a dual-use model for moral language, they should be careful to base their analogies on general pejoratives, rather than slurs. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWords form a fundamental basis for our understanding of linguistic practice. However, the precise ontology of words has eluded many philosophers and linguists. A persistent difficulty for most accounts of words is the type-token distinction [Bromberger, S. 1989. “Types and Tokens in Linguistics.” In Reflections on Chomsky, edited by A. George, 58–90. Basil Blackwell; Kaplan, D. 1990. “Words.” Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume LXIV: 93–119]. In this paper, I present a novel account of words which differs from the atomistic and platonistic (...) conceptions of previous accounts which I argue fall prey to this problem. Specifically, I proffer a structuralist account of linguistic items, along the lines of structuralism in the philosophy of mathematics [Shapiro, S. 1997. Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology. Oxford University Press], in which words are defined in part as positions in larger linguistic structures. I then follow Szabò [1999. “Expressions and Their Representations.” The Philosophical Quarterly 49 : 145–163] and Parsons [1990. “The Structuralist View of Mathematical Objects.” Synthese 84: 303–346] in further defining words as quasi-concrete objects according to a representation relation. This view aims for general correspondence with contemporary generative linguistic approaches to the study of language. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that there is a kind of moral disagreement that survives the Rawlsian veil of ignorance. While a veil of ignorance eliminates sources of disagreement stemming from self-interest, it does not do anything to eliminate deeper sources of disagreement. These disagreements not only persist, but transform their structure once behind the veil of ignorance. We consider formal frameworks for exploring these differences in structure between interested and disinterested disagreement, and argue that consensus models offer us a (...) solution concept for disagreements behind the veil of ignorance. (shrink)
The problem : commerce and corruption -- Smith's defense of commercial society -- What is corruption? : political and psychological perspectives -- Smith on corruption : from the citizen to the human being -- The solution : moral philosophy -- Liberal individualism and virtue ethics -- Social science vs. moral philosophy -- Types of moral philosophy : natural jurisprudence vs. ethics -- Types of ethics : utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics -- Virtue ethics : modern, ancient, and Smithean -- Interlude (...) : the what and the how of TMS VI -- The what : Sith's "practical system of morality" -- The how : rhetoric, audience, and the methods of practical ethics -- The how : the ascent of self-love in three stages -- Prudence or commercial virtue -- The challenge : from praise to prudence -- Educating the vain : fathers and sons -- Self-interest rightly understood -- The advantages and disadvantages of prudence -- Magnanimity or classical virtue -- The problems of prudence and the therapy of magnanimity -- Up from individualism : desert, praiseworthiness, conscience -- Modernity, antiquity, and magnanimity -- The dangers of magnanimity -- Beneficence or christian virtue -- Between care and caritas -- Benevolence and beneficence and the human telos -- The character and purposes of the wise and virtuous man -- Wisdom and virtue and Adam Smith's apology -- Epilogue: The "economy of greatness". (shrink)
A common view holds that consciousness is needed for knowledge acquired in one domain to be applied in a novel domain. We present evidence for the opposite; where the transfer of knowledge is achieved only in the absence of conscious awareness. Knowledge of artificial grammars was examined where training and testing occurred in different vocabularies or modalities. In all conditions grammaticality judgments attributed to random selection showed above-chance accuracy , while those attributed to conscious decisions did not. Participants also rated (...) each string’s familiarity and performed a perceptual task assessing fluency. Familiarity was predicted by repetition structure and was thus related to grammaticality. Fluency, though increasing familiarity, was unrelated to grammaticality. While familiarity predicted all judgments only those attributed to random selection showed a significant additional contribution of grammaticality, deriving primarily from chunk novelty. In knowledge transfer, as in visual perception , the unconscious may outperform the conscious. (shrink)
The concept of linguistic infinity has had a central role to play in foundational debates within theoretical linguistics since its more formal inception in the mid-twentieth century. The conceptualist tradition, marshalled in by Chomsky and others, holds that infinity is a core explanandum and a link to the formal sciences. Realism/Platonism takes this further to argue that linguistics is in fact a formal science with an abstract ontology. In this paper, I argue that a central misconstrual of formal apparatus of (...) recursive operations such as the set-theoretic operation merge has led to a mathematisation of the object of inquiry, producing a strong analogy with discrete mathematics and especially arithmetic. The main product of this error has been the assumption that natural, like some formal, languages are discretely infinite. I will offer an alternative means of capturing the insights and observations related to this posit in terms of scientific modelling. My chief aim will be to draw from the larger philosophy of science literature in order to offer a position of grammars as models compatible with various foundational interpretations of linguistics while being informed by contemporary ideas on scientific modelling for the natural and social sciences. (shrink)
Michael Ryan (d. 1840) remains one of the most mysterious figures in the history of medical ethics, despite the fact that he was the only British physician during the middle years of the 19th century to write about ethics in a systematic way. Michael Ryan’s Writings on Medical Ethics offers both an annotated reprint of his key ethical writings, and an extensive introductory essay that fills in many previously unknown details of Ryan’s life, analyzes the significance of (...) his ethical works, and places him within the historical trajectory of the field of medical ethics. (shrink)
A familiar post-Kantian criticism contends that Kant enslaves sensibility under the yoke of practical reason. Friedrich Schiller advanced a version of this criticism to which Kant publicly responded. Recent commentators have emphasized the role that Kant’s reply assigns to the pleasure that accompanies successful moral action. In contrast, I argue that Kant’s reply relies primarily on the sublime feeling that arises when we merely contemplate the moral law. In fact, the pleasures emphasized by other recent commentators depend on this sublime (...) feeling. These facts illuminate Kant’s views regarding the relationship between morality, freedom, and the development of moral feelings. (shrink)
The problem of temporary intrinsics is the problem of how persisting objects can have different intrinsic properties at different times. The relativizer responds to this problem by replacing ordinary intrinsic properties with relations to times. In this note, I identify and respond to three different objections to the relativizer's proposal, each of which can be traced to the work of David Lewis.
That the successful development of fully autonomous artificial moral agents (AMAs) is imminent is becoming the received view within artificial intelligence research and robotics. The discipline of Machines Ethics, whose mandate is to create such ethical robots, is consequently gaining momentum. Although it is often asked whether a given moral framework can be implemented into machines, it is never asked whether it should be. This paper articulates a pressing challenge for Machine Ethics: To identify an ethical framework that is both (...) implementable into machines and whose tenets permit the creation of such AMAs in the first place. Without consistency between ethics and engineering, the resulting AMAs would not be genuine ethical robots, and hence the discipline of Machine Ethics would be a failure in this regard. Here this challenge is articulated through a critical analysis of the development of Kantian AMAs, as one of the leading contenders for being the ethic that can be implemented into machines. In the end, however, the development of Kantian artificial moral machines is found to be anti-Kantian. The upshot of all this is that machine ethicists need to look elsewhere for an ethic to implement into their machines. (shrink)
This paper examines a series of Schelling-like models of residential segregation, in which agents prefer to be in the minority. We demon- strate that as long as agents care about the characteristics of their wider community, they tend to end up in a segregated state. We then investigate the process that causes this, and conclude that the result hinges on the similarity of informational states amongst agents of the same type. This is quite di erent from Schelling-like behavior, and sug- (...) gests (in his terms) that segregation is an instance of macro behavior which can arise from a wide variety of micro motives. (shrink)
What role should the physician's conscience play in the practice of medicine? Much controversy has surrounded the question, yet little attention has been paid to the possibility that disputants are operating with contrasting definitions of the conscience. To illustrate this divergence, we contrast definitions stemming from Abrahamic religions and those stemming from secular moral tradition. Clear differences emerge regarding what the term conscience conveys, how the conscience should be informed, and what the consequences are for violating one's conscience. Importantly, these (...) basic disagreements underlie current controversies regarding the role of the clinician's conscience in the practice of medicine. Consequently participants in ongoing debates would do well to specify their definitions of the conscience and the reasons for and implications of those definitions. This specification would allow participants to advance a more philosophically and theologically robust conversation about the means and ends of medicine. (shrink)
Young and colleagues . Betwixt life and death: case studies of the Cotard delusion. In P. W. Halligan & J. C. Marshall , Method in madness: Case studies in cognitive neuropsychiatry. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.) have suggested that cases of the Cotard delusion result when a particular perceptual anomaly occurs in the context of an internalising attributional style. This hypothesis has not previously been tested directly. We report here an investigation of attributional style in a 24-year-old woman with Cotard (...) delusion . LU’s attributional style was assessed using the Internal, Personal and Situational Attributions Questionnaire . A new measure of causal locus: the internal, personal and situational attributions questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences, 20, 261–264.). LU showed a significantly greater proportion of internalising attributions than the control group, both overall and for negative events specifically. The results obtained thus support an association of Cotard delusion with an internalising attributional style, and are therefore consistent with the account of Young and colleagues. The potential brain basis of Cotard delusion is discussed. (shrink)
The debate over persistence is often cast as a disagreement between two rival theories—the perdurantist theory that objects persist through time by having different temporal parts at different times, and the endurantist theory that objects persist through time by being wholly present at different times. This way of framing the debate over persistence involves both an important insight and an important error. Unfortunately, the error is often embraced and the insight is often ignored. This paper aims to correct both of (...) these mistakes, and thus clarify the debate over persistence. (shrink)
DNA sequencers, Twitter, MRIs, Facebook, particle accelerators, Google Books, radio telescopes, Tumblr: what do these things have in common? According to the evangelists of “data science,” all of these are instruments for observing reality at unprecedentedly large scales and fine granularities. This perspective ignores the social reality of these very different technological systems, ignoring how they are made, how they work, and what they mean in favor of an exclusive focus on what they generate: Big Data. But no data, big (...) or small, can be interpreted without an understanding of the process that generated them. Statistical data science is applicable to systems that have been designed as scientific instruments, but is likely to lead to confusion when applied to systems that have not. In those cases, a historical inquiry is preferable. (shrink)
Let’s say that you regard two things as on a par when you don’t prefer one to other and aren’t indifferent between them. What does rationality require of you when choosing between risky options whose outcomes you regard as on a par? According to Prospectism, you are required to choose the option with the best prospects, where an option’s prospects is a probability-distribution over its potential outcomes. In this paper, I argue that Prospectism violates a dominance principle—which I call The (...) Principle of Predominance—because it sometimes requires you to do something that’s no better than the alternatives and might be worse. I argue that this undermines the strongest argument that’s been given in favor of Prospectism. (shrink)
Does the formation of delusions involve abnormal reasoning? According to the prominent ‘two-factor’ theory of delusions (e.g. Coltheart, 2007), the answer is yes. The second factor in this theory is supposed to affect a deluded individual's ability to evaluate candidates for belief. However, most published accounts of the two-factor theory have not said much about the nature of this second factor. In an effort to remedy this shortcoming, Coltheart, Menzies and Sutton (2010) recently put forward a Bayesian account of inference (...) in delusions. I outline some criticisms of this important account, and sketch an alternative account of delusional inference that, I argue, avoids these criticisms. Specifically, I argue that the second factor in delusion formation involves a systematic deviation from Bayesian updating, a deviation that may be characterized as a bias towards ‘explanatory adequacy’. I present a numerical model of this idea and show that my alternative account is broadly consistent with prominent prediction error models of delusion formation (e.g. Corlett, Murray et al., 2007). (shrink)
This paper develops a novel problem for representationalism (also known as "intentionalism"), a popular contemporary account of perception. We argue that representationalism is incompatible with supervaluationism, the leading contemporary account of vagueness. The problem generalizes to naive realism and related views, which are also incompatible with supervaluationism.
Modern commercial society has been criticized for attenuating virtue and inhibiting the ethical self-realization of its participants. But Adam Smith, a founding father of liberal commercial modernity, anticipated precisely this critique and took specific measures to circumvent it. This article presents these measures via an analysis of his response to the critique of liberal commercial modernity set forth by Rousseau. It principally argues that Smith's distinctions of the love of praise from the love of praiseworthiness, and the love of glory (...) from the love of virtue, were elements of a normative moral education that sought to elevate civilized man's corrupted self-love, and thereby recover within modern commercial society a respect for ethical nobility. (shrink)
This paper attempts to describe and address a specific puzzle related to compositionality in artificial networks such as Deep Neural Networks and machine learning in general. The puzzle identified here touches on a larger debate in Artificial Intelligence related to epistemic opacity but specifically focuses on computational applications of human level linguistic abilities or properties and a special difficulty with relation to these. Thus, the resulting issue is both general and unique. A partial solution is suggested.
This paper explores the space of possibilities for public justification in morally diverse communities. Moral diversity is far more consequential than is typically appreciated, and as a result, we need to think more carefully about how our standard tools function in such environments. I argue that because of this diversity, public justification can be divorced from any claim of determinateness. Instead, we should focus our attention on procedures—in particular, what Rawls called cases of pure procedural justice. I use a modified (...) form of the procedure “I cut, you choose” to demonstrate how perspectival diversity can make what looks like a simple procedure quite complex in practice. I use this to reframe disputes between classical liberal and contemporary liberal approaches to questions of public morality, arguing that classically liberal procedures, such as a reliance on the harm principle, can generate rather illiberal-looking outcomes when used in a morally diverse community. A seemingly less-principled approach, which simply balances burdens, appears to generate outcomes that look closer to what we would expect from classical liberalism. However, since both approaches are based on pure procedures that we can justify without reference to outcomes, it remains indeterminate which we ought to choose. (shrink)
Many have argued that early visual processing is encapsulated from the influence of higher-level goals, expectations, and knowledge of the world. Here we confront the main arguments offered in support of such a view, showing that they are unpersuasive. We also present evidence of top–down influences on early vision, emphasizing data from cognitive neuroscience. Our conclusion is that encapsulation is not a defining feature of visual processing. But we take this conclusion to be quite modest in scope, readily incorporated into (...) mainstream vision science. (shrink)