Timing Time: Why Early Vision is Cognitively Impenetrable


Newen and Vetter (2016) argue that cognitive penetration (CP) of perceptual experience is the most possible account of the evidence. They target both the weak impenetrability thesis that only some early visual processes are cognitively impenetrable (CI), and the strong impenetrability thesis that all perceptual processes are CI. Since I agree that perceptual processing as a whole is CP, I will concentrate on their arguments against the weak CI thesis. In attacking weak CI, the authors take aim at Raftopoulos’ arguments supporting the CI of early vision. Their main argument comes from studies that, Newen and Vetter think, show that early vision is CP by demonstrating the existence of cognitive effects on early vision. I examine the same empirical evidence that Newen and Vatter discuss and argue this same evidence strongly supports the view that early vision is CI.

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