Reframing the problem of cognitive penetrability
SourceStudies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics
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I propose a reframing of the problem of cognitive penetrability (CP) that adds to the discussion on whether some cognitive effects on perceptual processing constitute cases of CP a dimension that was initially the main motive for introducing the notion of CP and was later almost abandoned, namely, whether the cognitive effects undermine the epistemological role of perception in grounding perceptual beliefs. I distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic cognitive effects on perception and argue that intrinsic cognitive effects on perception entail CP, while extrinsic effects entail CP only if they undermine the evidential role of perception in grounding perceptual beliefs. I also explain why the effects of two sorts of “body of knowledge” that are embedded in the visual circuits and guide perceptual processing from within are not cases of CP. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.