A1 Journal article – refereed

When is cognitive penetration a plausible explanation?

List of Authors: Valtteri Arstila

Publisher: Academic Press Inc.

Publication year: 2018

Journal: Consciousness and Cognition

Journal name in source: Consciousness and Cognition

Volume number: 59

Number of pages: 9

ISSN: 1053-8100

eISSN: 1090-2376

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2017.12.003


Albert Newen and Petra Vetter argue that neurophysiological
considerations and psychophysical studies provide striking evidence for
cognitive penetration. This commentary focuses mainly on the
neurophysiological considerations, which have thus far remained largely
absent in the philosophical debate concerning cognitive penetration, and
on the cognitive penetration of perceptual experiences, which is the
form of cognitive penetration philosophers have debated about the most.
It is argued that Newen and Vetter’s evidence for cognitive penetration
is unpersuasive because they do not sufficiently scrutinize the details
of the empirical studies they make use of—the details of the empirical
studies are crucial also when the studies are used in philosophical
debates. The previous does not mean that cognitive penetration could not
occur. Quite the contrary, details of the feedback connections to the
visual perceptual module and one of the candidates presented by Newen
and Vetter suggest that cognitive penetration can occur in rare cases.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:56