Cognitive (im)penetrability of vision : restricting vision versus restricting cognition

In John Zeimbekis & Athanassios Raftopoulos (eds.), The Cognitive Penetrability of Perception: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 378-403 (2015)
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Pylyshyn restricts cognitively penetrable vision to late vision, whereas he does not make any distinction between different kinds of penetrating cognition. I argue that this approach disconnects early vision content from late vision content and blurs the distinction between the latter and the content of thought. To overcome this problem I suggest that we should not distinguish between different kinds of visual content but instead introduce a restriction on the kind of cognition that can directly penetrate visual experience. In particular, I suggest that visual experience, unlike thought, is directly penetrated only by practical non-propositional knowledge. I specify this weak cognitive penetrability in anti-representational terms. In particular, I suggest that the dependence of visual content on practical non-propositional knowledge should be conceived as a rational non-inferential relation, for it is in this way that we can account for the distinctive content of visual experience.

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Costas Pagondiotis
University of Patras


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