Philosophy Colloquium: "Do high-level properties make a difference to perceptual phenomenology?"

October 1st, 2021

Speaker: Madeleine Ransom, UBC Okanagan
Suppose we can come to represent high-level properties in the contents of perceptual experience. This would seem to have a dramatic impact on perceptual epistemology, suggesting that our perceptual experience can provide immediate or foundational justification to a much wider range of beliefs than previously supposed. However, a recent challenge to this picture is that high-level properties do not impact the phenomenal character of perceptual experience despite their being represented in perceptual experience (Prinz 2013), and therefore do not provide immediate justification for perceptual beliefs (Chudnoff 2018). Here I consider how we might adjudicate the debate without resorting to appeals to intuition. I argue that the empirical phenomenon of categorical perception favours the view that high-level properties exert an effect on perceptual phenomenology.