Cornell University

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Norman Kretzmann Undergraduate Philosophy Lecture

Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Virtual Event

A  talk to be given by Professor Ned Block, New York University.

Is there a fundamental difference between seeing and thinking?

Some have argued that the distinction between seeing and thinking is one of those folk distinctions that does not correspond to a fundamental difference in nature.  Perception is more stimulus dependent and cognition is under more voluntary control, but these differences may be differences of degree, not kind. Recent work in psychology and neuroscience suggests substantial effects of cognition on perception, kinds of “cognitive penetration” of perception by cognition, suggesting that differences in cognitive architecture between perception and cognition such as those postulated by modularity theorists may not hold up.  Proponents of hierarchical Bayesian views have suggested there is no important divide.  Some have appealed to differences in format and content as the basis of the difference.  How can the disagreements about the border between perception and cognition be resolved?

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Professor Ned Block

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New York University

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Ben Mendenhall

Ben Mendenhall left a positive review 3/3/2021

This was a truly fascinating lecture. Although the professor spoke somewhat quickly and used jargon terms that may not be understood by those outside of the field of psychology, the presentation was excellent overall, and there was plenty of time for questions.