Philosophy of Perception: Colour and Epistemology Within
With the upcoming release of the Routledge Handbook on Philosophy of Colour (Derek Brown and Fiona Macpherson, Eds.), and with the motive of Professor Susana Siegel’s 2019 Scots Centenary Fellow at the University of Glasgow, the Centre for the Study of the Perceptual Experience (CSPE) is hosting the conference ‘Philosophy of Perception, Colour and Epistemology Within’.
The aim of this two-day conference is to bring together a unique collection of philosophers who work on disparate approaches to and topics within the nature of perception. We envision three main threads in the conference: representationalism versus naïve realism; the nature of colour and colour perception; the boundaries between perception, epistemology, and social knowledge. Questions participants are encouraged to explore therefore include, but are not limited, to the following:
- What is the nature of perception and perceptual experience? Representationalists maintain that perceptual states, including perceptual experiences (i.e. conscious perceptual episodes), achieve their status as perceptual states by virtue of representing in a distinctive way. Representing involves expressing contents that can be variously accurate or true of what is represented. In the case of perception, what is purportedly represented is the relevant elements of the perceiver’s environment. By contrast, naïve realists (or advocates of the ‘object view’) maintain that perceptual experiences are constituted in part by the elements of a perceiver’s environment that are being experienced. Because of this, perceptual experiences cannot be variously accurate of these elements in a perceiver’s environment.
- What is the role of colour in perception, and what does perception teach us about colour? Colour has been a central topic in philosophy of perception for some time, and interest in the topic has grown considerably over the last two decades. Its privileged status will hopefully be enhanced by the forthcoming launch of the Routledge Handbook on Philosophy of Colour in early 2020.
- How does perception intersect epistemology and social knowledge? Perceptual states are often-conceived of as encapsulated from higher cognitive states like beliefs and perceptual reports, and from the influence of social interactions. For example, while attaching degrees of confidence or imperatives to perceptual reports is commonplace and relatively unproblematic, the idea that there are degrees of confidence or imperatives within perceptual experiences themselves is to many at once off-putting and deeply intriguing. To take an example, colour names (e.g. ‘blue’, ‘green’) typically designate broad classes of colours, or colour categories. There are difficult questions about the extent to which these categories are mere reports of commonalities between experienced colours or are to some extent reflective of one’s language and culture.
Tuesday 14th January
Jessie Munton, Cambridge University ('How to see invisible objects’)
Yasmina Jraissati, American University of Beirut ('On the relationship of colour to object’)
Susana Siegel, Harvard University (‘Are There Norms of Attention?’)
Bill Brewer, Kings College London (‘Perception of Continued Existence Unperceived’)
Keith Wilson, Oslo University (‘The Auditory Field’)
Wednesday 15th January
Sebastian Watzl, Oslo University (‘Salience plays a rational role’)
Keith Allen, University of York (‘What is it like to be colour blind?’)
Fiona Macpherson, University of Glasgow (‘Novel colours’)
Derek Brown, University of Glasgow ('The philosophy of colour constancy’)
The conference is generously sponsored by the Mind Association, The Scots Philosophical Association, Routledge and the Centre for the Study of the Perceptual Experience at the University of Glasgow.
We aim to make this conference accessible to all, in light of the BPA/SWIP guidelines for accessible conferences. For that purpose, all the information about the talks, including handouts and abstracts, will be made available as soon as possible.
Location and accessibility
The conference will be held at the Bridie Library in the Glasgow University Union (GUU). The address of the venue is 32 University Avenue, Glasgow, G12 8LX. The Bridie Library is situated on the second floor, which can be reached by lift.
Unfortunately, there is no step-free access to the GUU building from the main entrance, but the room can be also reached from the rear door (step-free) and by using the lift.
All talks will take place at the Bridie Library and all coffee and lunch breaks will be also provided in there.
There are several rooms at the GUU building that can be used, including the Café situated on the ground floor and a quiet Reading Room next to the Bridie Library that can be used for resting.
Attendance is free and open to all. For catering purposes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com indicating which days you will be attending and if you have any dietary requirements.
Do please contact us you have further questions not resolved above.
First published: 6 January 2020