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Ann-Sophie Barwich
Columbia University
  1. A Sense So Rare: Measuring Olfactory Experiences and Making a Case for a Process Perspective on Sensory Perception.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (3):258-268.
    Philosophical discussion about the reality of sensory perceptions has been hijacked by two tendencies. First, talk about perception has been largely centered on vision. Second, the realism question is traditionally approached by attaching objects or material structures to matching contents of sensory perceptions. These tendencies have resulted in an argumentative impasse between realists and anti-realists, discussing the reliability of means by which the supposed causal information transfer from object to perceiver takes place. Concerning the nature of sensory experiences and their (...)
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  2.  69
    Measuring the World: Olfaction as a Process Model of Perception.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2018 - In John A. Dupre & Daniel Nicholson (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. pp. 337-356.
    How much does stimulus input shape perception? The common-sense view is that our perceptions are representations of objects and their features and that the stimulus structures the perceptual object. The problem for this view concerns perceptual biases as responsible for distortions and the subjectivity of perceptual experience. These biases are increasingly studied as constitutive factors of brain processes in recent neuroscience. In neural network models the brain is said to cope with the plethora of sensory information by predicting stimulus regularities (...)
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  3. Sensory Measurements: Coordination and Standardization.Ann-Sophie Barwich & Hasok Chang - 2015 - Biological Theory 10 (3):200-211.
    Do sensory measurements deserve the label of “measurement”? We argue that they do. They fit with an epistemological view of measurement held in current philosophy of science, and they face the same kinds of epistemological challenges as physical measurements do: the problem of coordination and the problem of standardization. These problems are addressed through the process of “epistemic iteration,” for all measurements. We also argue for distinguishing the problem of standardization from the problem of coordination. To exemplify our claims, we (...)
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  4.  97
    Up the Nose of the Beholder? Aesthetic Perception in Olfaction as a Decision-Making Process.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2017 - New Ideas in Psychology 47:157-165.
    Is the sense of smell a source of aesthetic perception? Traditional philosophical aesthetics has centered on vision and audition but eliminated smell for its subjective and inherently affective character. This article dismantles the myth that olfaction is an unsophisticated sense. It makes a case for olfactory aesthetics by integrating recent insights in neuroscience with traditional expertise about flavor and fragrance assessment in perfumery and wine tasting. My analysis concerns the importance of observational refinement in aesthetic experience. I argue that the (...)
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  5. Science and Fiction: Analysing the Concept of Fiction in Science and its Limits.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (2):357-373.
    A recent and growing discussion in philosophy addresses the construction of models and their use in scientific reasoning by comparison with fiction. This comparison helps to explore the problem of mediated observation and, hence, the lack of an unambiguous reference of representations. Examining the usefulness of the concept of fiction for a comparison with non-denoting elements in science, the aim of this paper is to present reasonable grounds for drawing a distinction between these two kinds of representation. In particular, my (...)
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    Is Captain Kirk a Natural Blonde? Do X-Ray Crystallographers Dream of Electron Clouds? Comparing Model-Based Inferences in Science with Fiction.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2018 - In Otávio Bueno, George Darby, Steven French & Dean Rickles (eds.), Thinking About Science, Reflecting on Art: Bringing Aesthetics and Philosophy of Science Together. London, UK:
    Scientific models share one central characteristic with fiction: their relation to the physical world is ambiguous. It is often unclear whether an element in a model represents something in the world or presents an artifact of model building. Fiction, too, can resemble our world to varying degrees. However, we assign a different epistemic function to scientific representations. As artifacts of human activity, how are scientific representations allowing us to make inferences about real phenomena? In reply to this concern, philosophers of (...)
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