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The Cognitive Penetrability of PerceptionNew Philosophical Perspectives$
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John Zeimbekis and Athanassios Raftopoulos

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738916

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738916.001.0001

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Seeing, Visualizing, and Believing

Seeing, Visualizing, and Believing

Pictures and Cognitive Penetration

(p.298) 12 Seeing, Visualizing, and Believing
The Cognitive Penetrability of Perception

John Zeimbekis

Oxford University Press

Visualizing and mental imagery are thought to be cognitive states by all sides of the imagery debate. Yet their phenomenology has distinctly visual ingredients. This has potential consequences for the hypothesis that vision is cognitively impenetrable, the ability of vision to ground perceptual justification, and the cognitive/perceptual phenomenology distinction. This chapter explores those consequences by describing two forms of visual ambiguity that involve visualizing: the ability to visually experience a picture surface as flat after it has caused visual experiences with volumetric contents, and the ability to use a surface initially perceived as flat to visualize 3D scenes. In both cases, the visual processes which extract viewer-centered volumetric shapes (equivalent to Marr’s 2½D sketch) can be penetrated by cognitively driven acts of visualizing. It then make a proposal about why this form of cognitive penetration does not weaken vision’s ability to provide perceptual justification for beliefs.

Keywords:   visualizing, mental imagery, picture perception, volume perception, Marr, perceptual phenomenology, perceptual justification

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