Reentrant neural pathways and the theory-ladenness of perception
SourcePhilosophy of Science
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In this paper I argue for the cognitive impenetrability of perception by undermining the argument from reentrant pathways. To do that I will adduce psychological and neuropsychological evidence showing that (a) early vision processing is not affected by our knowledge about specific objects and events, and (b) that the role of the descending pathways is to enable the early-vision processing modules to participate in higher-level visual or cognitive functions. My thesis is that a part of observation, which I will call perception, is bottom-up and theory neutral. As such, perception could play the role of common ground on which a naturalized epistemology can be built and relativism avoided. Copyright 2001 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.