Perspective, Imagination and the Nature of Experience


Project Team:

Principal Investigator:

Professor Fiona Macpherson, University of Glasgow

Award Information:

This Fellowship funded an investigation into the nature of perception and perceptual experience. The research focuses around two main questions. Firstly whether perceptual experiences, involved in seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting the world, can be affected by cognitive states such as beliefs, desires and expectations. This question is whether ‘cognitive penetration’, the existence of which is highly disputed can occur and if so in what conditions it does so.

Secondly, the fellowship asked about the nature of perceptual experience and how it can be so influenced by beliefs, desires and expectations. Research will provide an insight into the nature of the structure of experience and its representational and conscious aspects. The implications of the existence of cognitive penetration for epistemology and ethics will also be made vivid.

Project dates: September 2012- July 2013