Indexing the World? Visual Tracking, Modularity, and the Perception–Cognition Interface

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):215-245 (2016)
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Research in vision science, developmental psychology, and the foundations of cognitive science has led some theorists to posit referential mechanisms similar to indices. This hypothesis has been framed within a Fodorian conception of the early vision module. The article shows that this conception is mistaken, for it cannot handle the ‘interface problem’—roughly, how indexing mechanisms relate to higher cognition and conceptual thought. As a result, I reject the inaccessibility of early vision to higher cognition and make some constructive remarks on the perception–cognition interface. -/- 1 The Case for Visual Indices 1.1 Preliminary assumptions 1.2 Transcendental arguments 1.3 Evidence from vision science 2 Visual Indices, Object Files, and Fodorian Modularity 3 The Interface Problem 3.1 Top-down attention and modularity 3.2 Selective attention and information 4 Revising the Indexing Hypothesis 4.1 Revising the perception–cognition interface 4.2 Revising the modularity of early vision 5 Concluding Remarks.

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Santiago Echeverri
National Autonomous University of Mexico


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