Perception, Normativity and Action in Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science

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Abstract

Working on the background of a view of mind as “in action”, as pragmatically shaped by its own dynamic interactions with the world, emerging from the achievements of contemporary philosophy of mind (from Searle to enactivism)and cognitive science (from Gibson to Goodale and Milner)I aim to propose a view of perception as a form of human activity of which we are responsible, and in which our “commitment” to truth and rationality can take place. Against some recent phenomenalist and antirepresentationalist views of perception I'll try to show that the action-oriented character of perception does not challenge its rational constraint to a right representation of the state of affairs which it is about. I'll argue for this point using Searle's conceptual tool of the causal selfreferentiality of perception, showing how this causal self-referentiality can account for the normative constraint to truth underlying every perceptual experience. This constraint means that, even at the more receptive level of our interaction with the world, perception is not merely a passive event causally dependent on the environment. In fact, not only “it must be possible to decide whether or not to judge that things are as one’s experience represents them to be” (McDowell, 1994, 11), but also, beyond McDowell, it is up to us to have the right relationship with the state of affairs which experience is about. Finally I will show how such a theory of mind and perception can give a non ad hoc answer to Gettier counterexamples to the model of knowledge as true and justified belief
Lingua originaleEnglish
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2011

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Philosophy of Mind
Cognitive Science
Contemporary philosophy
Normativity
Interaction
Enactivism
Theory of Mind
Rationality
Gettier
Justified Belief
Counterexample
Perceptual Experience
Referentiality
Causal

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abstract = "Working on the background of a view of mind as “in action”, as pragmatically shaped by its own dynamic interactions with the world, emerging from the achievements of contemporary philosophy of mind (from Searle to enactivism)and cognitive science (from Gibson to Goodale and Milner)I aim to propose a view of perception as a form of human activity of which we are responsible, and in which our “commitment” to truth and rationality can take place. Against some recent phenomenalist and antirepresentationalist views of perception I'll try to show that the action-oriented character of perception does not challenge its rational constraint to a right representation of the state of affairs which it is about. I'll argue for this point using Searle's conceptual tool of the causal selfreferentiality of perception, showing how this causal self-referentiality can account for the normative constraint to truth underlying every perceptual experience. This constraint means that, even at the more receptive level of our interaction with the world, perception is not merely a passive event causally dependent on the environment. In fact, not only “it must be possible to decide whether or not to judge that things are as one’s experience represents them to be” (McDowell, 1994, 11), but also, beyond McDowell, it is up to us to have the right relationship with the state of affairs which experience is about. Finally I will show how such a theory of mind and perception can give a non ad hoc answer to Gettier counterexamples to the model of knowledge as true and justified belief",
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