There must be encapsulated nonconceptual content in vision

In Athanassios Raftpoulos (ed.), Cognitive penetrability of perception: Attention, action, attention and bottom-up constraints. Nova Science. pp. 157-170 (2005)
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Abstract

In this paper I want to propose an argument to support Jerry Fodor’s thesis (Fodor 1983) that input systems are modular and thus informationally encapsulated. The argument starts with the suggestion that there is a “grounding problem” in perception, i. e. that there is a problem in explaining how perception that can yield a visual experience is possible, how sensation can become meaningful perception of something for the subject. Given that visual experience is actually possible, this invites a transcendental argument that explains the conditions of its possibility. I propose that one of these conditions is the existence of a visual module in Fodor’s sense that allows the step from sensation to object-identifying perception, thus enabling visual experience. It seems to follow that there is informationally encapsulated nonconceptual content in visual perception.

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Vincent C. Müller
Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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