The cognitive impenetrability of early vision: What’s the claim?

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Raftopoulos’s most recent book argues, among other things, for the cognitive impenetrability of early vision. Before we can assess any such claims, we need to know what’s meant by “early vision” and by “cognitive penetration”. In this contribution to this book symposium, I explore several different things that one might mean – indeed, that Raftopoulos might mean – by these terms. I argue that whatever criterion we choose for delineating early vision, we need a single criterion, not a mishmash of distinct criteria. And I argue against defining cognitive penetration in partly epistemological terms, although it is fine to offer epistemological considerations in defending some definitions as capturing something of independent interest. Finally, I raise some questions about how we are to understand the “directness” of certain putative cognitive influences on perception and about whether there’s a decent rationale for restricting directness in the way that Raftopoulos apparently does.
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Archival date: 2021-01-10
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