Le 6 novembre 2014
Institut Nicod, 29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris. Salle de réunion, RDC
Philosophers of perception from various philosophical traditions have emphasized that our ordinary perceptual experience involves a sense of presence relative to what is perceived or at least perceptually experienced. Some philosophers argue that the sense of presence is essential to, or constitutive of, perception in the sense that perceptual content necessarily involves the sense of presence. Other philosophers argue that the sense of presence is constitutive of perception but it is not a feature of perceptual content. Rather the sense of presence marks the psychological mode of our perceptual experiences. Here, we will show that converging evidence encourages the view that the sense of presence cannot be extracted from perception itself, either at the level of content or at the level of mode. Instead, we propose that the sense of reality is in fact an affective experience akin to what psychologists call “metacognitive feelings”. The consequence is that perception is intrinsically opaque with respect to the metaphysical nature of its object (at the experiential level, at least). This conclusion, we argue, has some implications for the crucial debate between Naïve Realism and Intentionalism.
11h30 Ben Phillips (CUNY),
"An Indeterminacy in the Contents of Perception"
According to generalists, neither the contents nor the accuracy conditions of our perceptual experiences are constituted by the objects we perceive. Particularists disagree. According to some, this is because the objects we perceive enter into the contents of our perceptual experiences, whereas, according to others, it’s because they enter into the accuracy conditions (but not the contents) of our perceptual experiences. I argue that neither side of the debate is right. What the generalist and the particularist are providing us with are equally acceptable ways of assigning contents to our perceptual experiences. In other words, it's simply indeterminate whether the objects we perceive are represented by our perceptual experiences. I make my case by arguing that the generalist and the particularist are equally well placed to explain various key phenomena. Moreover, I argue that my account also provides the most straightforward explanation of the fact that our intuitions pull in the direction of both object-independent and object-dependent content assignments.
15h00 François Le Corre (IJN),
"A defense of the content criterion for individuating the senses"
The senses are faculties that allow gathering information about the environment. Various facts about multisensory integration at the neural level and about crossmodal interaction at the behavioural level have led philosophers to reconsider the question how the senses are to be distinguished or individuated. In this talk, I shall begin by specifying the nature of the problem of individuation of the senses and by determining certain methodological constraints a theory of sense individuation should satisfy. Next, I will present and discuss the main criteria of individuation offered by Grice in 1962, and will claim that the content criterion, according to which the senses are to be individuated in terms of the environmental properties or objects they give access to, is the only one that can withstand scrutiny. One important implication of this claim is that one should accept that there are as many sense modalities as there are classes of environmental properties or objects.
16h30 Nico Orlandi (UCSC),
"Bias in vision"
It is well-known that implicit biases concerning underrepresented groups consistently affect both our judgment and behavior towards the groups in question. Such biases are mostly unconscious, not openly endorsed, and seemingly a-rational attitudes. What is perhaps less known is that implicit assumptions concerning social groups affect perception as well. In this presentation, I discuss some instances of biased perception, and reflect on how (if at all) they relate to the thesis, in perceptual psychology, that vision is an inferential process. I suggest that, while these cases are compatible with inferentialism, they do not support it as they are also compatible with the visual system being associative. In reaching this conclusion, I discuss a common proposal for how to test that a system, or a process, is associative. This proposal relies on the fact that associative systems are not reason-responsive. This, in turn, has a bearing on how to modify both perceptual and non-perceptual biases.
Organisation : Uriah Kriegel