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Thu, 06 Dec


Room 234

Tony Cheng (UCL) Visual Vagueness

Time & Location

06 Dec 2018, 16:00 – 18:00

Room 234, Senate House, London WC1B, UK


​Issues concerning the putative perception/cognition divide are not only age-old, but also resurface in contemporary discussions in various forms. In this paper, I connect a relatively new debate concerning perceptual confidence to the perception/cognition divide. The term ‘perceptual confidence’ is quite common in the empirical literature, but there is an unsettled question about it, namely: are confidence assignments perceptual or post-perceptual? Morrison (2016, 2017) puts forward the claim that confidence arises already at the level of perception, while Denison (2017) demurs. In this paper, I first argue that Morrison’s case is unconvincing, and then develop Denison’s picture on perceptual precision with the notion of ‘matching profile’ (Peacocke 1986, 1989) and ‘supervaluation’ (van Fraassen 1966), highlighting the fact that this is a vagueness account, which is similar to but importantly different from indeterminacy accounts (e.g., Stazicker 2011). With this model in hand, there can be rich resources with which to draw a theoretical line between perception and cognition: while the former is aptly described in terms of precision, the latter is aptly described in terms of confidence.

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