Philosophy 290-3

Spring 2017

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-3 Topics in Philosophy of Perception Lee Tu 2-4 Moses 234

This course will cover some ongoing debates in philosophy of perception, with a particular focus on foundational debates about the nature of perceptual processing and their repercussions for theories of conscious perception.

We will start with the classical inferential/computational framework, looking closely at: the notion of a perceptual representation, including the notion of tacit or implicit representation of rules and information; the notion of perceptual computation; the levels of description of perceptual processes (e.g. Marr’s 3 levels); the explanatory role of content in perceptual processing; the structure of perceptual representations. We’ll draw on this to look at the recent debate about the nature and viability of Bayesian models of perceptual processing. We will also cover some recent debates about the nature of perceptual experience, including the debate about “perceptual credences”: does perceptual experience assign probabilities or levels of confidence to hypotheses about the environment? We will also discuss what bearing, if any, different models of perceptual processing have on the debate about the metaphysics of conscious perceptual states (e.g. is disjunctivism incompatible with the classical computational model?).

The reading for the course will include chapters from Nico Orlandi’s recent book “The Innocent Eye: why Vision is not a Cognitive Process”.