Unencapsulated Modules and Perceptual Judgment

In J. Zeimbekis & A. Raftopoulos (eds.), The Cognitive Penetrability of Perception: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 103-122 (2015)
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To what extent are cognitive capacities, especially perceptual capacities, informationally encapsulated and to what extent are they cognitively penetrable? And why does this matter? Two reasons we care about encapsulation/penetrability are: (a) encapsulation is sometimes held to be definitional of modularity, and (b) penetrability has epistemological implications independent of modularity. I argue that modularity does not require encapsulation; that modularity may have epistemological implications independently of encapsulation; and that the epistemological implications of the cognitive penetrability of perception are messier than is sometimes thought.

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Jack Lyons
University of Glasgow


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