Seminar on Cognitive Science and Philosophy: How Well Do We Know our own Conscious Experience: Perceiving and reading edition (Seminar)

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Alan T. Moore
University of California, Riverside/ILCLI (Visiting Researcher)

Venue: Carlos Santamaria Center
Room B1


How well do you know your current conscious experience? The traditional way philosophers answer this question is through introspection coupled with armchair reflection, but experimental philosophy is adding more tools to the mix. I use experimental data to argue that philosophers have radically misdescribed two common experiences. First, it has been said that distant objects look smaller since ancient Greece, and this sentiment is often echoed in philosophy today. I argue that this is the result of over-analogizing visual experience to two-dimensional geometry. I look to the reports of two groups ignorant of the relevant geometry, pre-Euclidean philosophers and naive experimental subjects, neither of which report distant objects as looking smaller. Second, conflicting things have been said about the experience of reading. Is there an inner voice? Mental visual imagery? A perceptual experience of the words on the page? I look to a recent experiment on the experience of reading to argue that both philosophers and psychologists have missed widespread differences in the way we experience reading, both across time and across individuals.

If you wish to attend, please contact Luis Ángel Pérez Miranda: