Date of Degree

9-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Philosophy

Advisor

Jesse Prinz

Advisor

Eric Mandelbaum

Committee Members

David Papineau

Tatiana Eloi Emmanouil

Ned Block

Subject Categories

Cognition and Perception | Cognitive Psychology | Philosophy of Mind | Philosophy of Science | Theory and Philosophy

Keywords

perception, cognition, representation, format, iconic, propositional

Abstract

This dissertation is a defense of perceptual pluralism, the thesis that perceptual systems deliver multiple types of representations including those used in thought. In particular, it argues that perceptual systems output iconic (i.e., image-like, analog) representations as well as discursive (i.e., language-like, digital) states. A central thesis is that perceptual representations of objects are propositional and composed of concepts. It also develops a compositional syntax of iconic representation called the coordination model, according to which icons are sets of primitive parts, each of which determines values along multiple analog feature dimensions simultaneously. The dissertation supports the conclusion that perceptual processes are distinguished from cognition by encapsulation and stimulus control, not format.

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